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Author Bergen, E. A. van den ♦ Rocchi, P. S. J. ♦ Boogaard, P. J.
Sponsorship USDOE
Source United States Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information
Content type Text
Language English
Subject Keyword ENERGY PLANNING AND POLICY ♦ ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES ♦ BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES ♦ DUSTS ♦ INHALATION ♦ CERAMICS INDUSTRY ♦ HEALTH HAZARDS ♦ FIBERS ♦ OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE ♦ MONITORING ♦ OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY ♦ SAFETY STANDARDS ♦ CARCINOGENS ♦ FURNACES ♦ INCINERATORS ♦ NETHERLANDS ♦ QUARTZ ♦ NICKEL ♦ CHROMIUM
Abstract Man-made mineral fibers (MMMFs), especially refractory ceramic fibers, show excellent thermal stability and insulating properties and can nowadays be found in many industrial facilities such as furnaces, incinerators, and stacks. Exposure to high concentrations of ceramic fibers has shown carcinogenic potential in laboratory rodents. Consequently, authorities in the Netherlands currently recommend that occupational exposures to ceramic fibers should be kept as low as possible and must not exceed 1 respirable fiber/cc (8-hour time-weighted average). Data published recently in the United States indicate that potential exposure to higher concentrations of fibers occurred inside industrial furnaces during the manual removal of ceramic insulation. This article presents the results of a monitoring program for ceramic fibers and other respiratory hazards (dust, quartz, nickel, and chromium), carried out during the renewal of the refractory lining inside a large furnace at the Shell Rotterdam refinery. Measured air concentrations of up to 50 respirable fibers/cc, 54 mg/m{sup 3} of respirable dust, and 0.81 mg/m{sup 3} of quartz confirmed that the potential exposures of workers could be high and in excess of occupational exposure limits. Organizational measures and personal protection provided to keep the actual exposures of workers as low as possible are reviewed. The removal of ceramic fibers by specially trained workers, prior to any other activities, offered the opportunity to introduce optimal control measures. In this way, the number of potentially exposed workers as well the amount of fiber-contaminated waste were kept minimal. Other preventive measures like fixing the fibers with a coating and applying local extract ventilation are investigated. 5 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.
ISSN 1047322X
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1994-01-01
Publisher Place United States
Journal Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume Number 9
Issue Number 1


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