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Friday, September 6, 2013

Determinants of Respirable Crystalline Silica Exposure Among Stoneworkers Involved in Stone Restoration Work

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Objectives: Crystalline silica occurs as a significant component of many traditional materials used in restoration stonework, and stoneworkers who work with these materials are potentially exposed to stone dust containing respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Exposure to RCS can result in the development of a range of adverse health effects, including silicosis and lung cancer. An understanding of the determinants of RCS exposure is important for selecting appropriate exposure controls and in preventing occupational diseases. The objectives of this study were to quantify the RCS exposure of stoneworkers involved in the restoration and maintenance of heritage properties and to identify the main determinants of RCS exposure among this occupational group.

Methods: An exposure assessment was carried out over a 3-year period amongst a group of stonemasons and stone cutters involved in the restoration and maintenance of heritage buildings in Ireland. Personal air samples (n = 103) with corresponding contextual information were collected. Exposure data were analysed using mixed-effects modelling to investigate determinants of RCS exposure and their contribution to the individual’s mean exposure. Between-depot, between-worker, and within-worker variance components were also investigated.

Results: The geometric mean (GM) RCS exposure concentrations for all tasks measured ranged from <0 data-blogger-escaped-.02="" data-blogger-escaped-0.70mg="" data-blogger-escaped-m="" data-blogger-escaped-sup="" data-blogger-escaped-to="">−3. GM RCS exposure concentrations for work involving limestone and lime mortar were <0 data-blogger-escaped-.02="" data-blogger-escaped-m="" data-blogger-escaped-mg="" data-blogger-escaped-ndash="" data-blogger-escaped-sup="">...
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