Occupational Exposures in an Equestrian Centre to Respirable Dust and Respirable Crystalline Silica.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 09 03; 16(17)IJ
Sand-based products are regularly used as footing material on indoor equestrian arenas, creating a potential occupational exposure risk for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) for equestrian workers training and exercising horses in these environments. The objective of this study was to evaluate an equestrian worker's personal RCS and respirable dust (RD) exposure. Sixteen personal full-shift RD measurements were collected from an equestrian worker and analysed for RD, quartz and cristobalite. Geometric mean exposures of 0.12 mg m-3 and 0.02 mg m-3 were calculated for RD and RCS concentrations, respectively. RCS exposures of between 0.01 to 0.09 mg m-3 were measured on days when the indoor arena surface was not watered, compared to lower exposures (<LOD-0.03 mg m-3) on days when the indoor arena was watered (p < 0.01); however, manual watering is time intensive and less likely to be implemented in practice. This small-scale study provides new data on RCS and RD exposures among equestrian workers. RCS exposures are within the range considered to be associated with increased risk for lung cancer. The use of dust control solutions such as water suppression should be promoted for equestrian work in horse riding arenas. Equestrian workers need to receive occupational health training on the health risks associated with RCS exposure.