Crystalline silica dust and respirable particulate matter during indoor concrete grinding - wet grinding and ventilated grinding compared with uncontrolled conventional grinding.J Occup Environ Hyg. 2007 Oct; 4(10):770-9.JO
The effectiveness of wet grinding (wet dust reduction method) and ventilated grinding (local exhaust ventilation method, LEV) in reducing the levels of respirable crystalline silica dust (quartz) and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSP) were compared with that of uncontrolled (no dust reduction method) conventional grinding. A field laboratory was set up to simulate concrete surface grinding using hand-held angle grinders in an enclosed workplace. A total of 34 personal samples (16 pairs side-by-side and 2 singles) and 5 background air samples were collected during 18 concrete grinding sessions ranging from 15-93 min. General ventilation had no statistically significant effect on operator's exposure to dust. Overall, the arithmetic mean concentrations of respirable crystalline silica dust and RSP in personal air samples during: (i) five sessions of uncontrolled conventional grinding were respectively 61.7 and 611 mg/m(3) (ii) seven sessions of wet grinding were 0.896 and 11.9 mg/m(3) and (iii) six sessions of LEV grinding were 0.155 and 1.99 mg/m(3). Uncontrolled conventional grinding generated relatively high levels of respirable silica dust and proportionally high levels of RSP. Wet grinding was effective in reducing the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 98.2% and RSP 97.6%. LEV grinding was even more effective and reduced the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 99.7% and RSP 99.6%. Nevertheless, the average level of respirable silica dust (i) during wet grinding was 0.959 mg/m(3) (38 times the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH] threshold limit value [TLV] of 0.025 mg/m(3)) and (ii) during LEV grinding was 0.155 mg/m(3) (6 times the ACGIH TLV). Further studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of a greater variety of models, types, and sizes of grinders on different types of cement in different positions and also to test the simulated field lab experimentation in the field.