A review of engineering control technology for exposures generated during abrasive blasting operations.J Occup Environ Hyg. 2004 Oct; 1(10):680-7.JO
This literature review presents information on measures for controlling worker exposure to toxic airborne contaminants generated during abrasive blasting operations occurring primarily in the construction industry. The exposures of concern include respirable crystalline silica, lead, chromates, and other toxic metals. Unfortunately, silica sand continues to be widely used in the United States as an abrasive blasting medium, resulting in high exposures to operators and surrounding personnel. Recently, several alternative abrasives have emerged as potential substitutes for sand, but they seem to be underused Some of these abrasives may pose additional metal exposure hazards. In addition, several new and improved technologies offer promise for reducing or eliminating exposures; these include wet abrasive blasting, high-pressure water jetting, vacuum blasting, and automated/robotic systems. More research, particularly field studies, is needed to evaluate control interventions in this important and hazardous operation.