Excessive Exposure to Silica in the US Construction Industry

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Summary Statement

Exposures to respirable dust and silica were investigated among 36 construction sites in the USA. This study indicated that silica exposures are grossly unacceptable in the US construction industry. It concluded that urgent action, such as administrative and engineering controls, is required to reduce silica exposures in the US construction industry.
November 20, 2002

Industrial hygienists took 151 measurements of personal exposures to respirable dust and silica for 80 construction workers at 36 sites in the U.S. and found excessive levels, particularly among painters, but also for laborers, bricklayers, and operating engineers.