End-user exposures to synthetic vitreous fibers: II. Fabrication and installation fabrication of commercial products

Patrick N. Breysse, Peter S.J. Lees, Brian C. Rooney, Billy R. McArthur, Michael E. Miller, Coreen Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article summarizes the results of exposure monitoring conducted during the installation and fabrication of commercial synthetic vitreous fiber (SVF) products. Included in this investigation were fiberglass duct insulation and construction applications (duct board, duct liner, and duct wrap), pipe and vessel insulation, batt insulation for prefabricated homes, and general fiberglass products. Commercial mineral wool products sampled as a part of this investigation included ceiling tiles, building safing, and loose insulation for prefabricated homes. A total of 520 valid air samples were collected as a part of this investigation and were analyzed using gravimetric, phase contrast microscopy (PCM), or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Airborne fiber-size distributions were also determined for a subset of samples collected for SEM analysis. As a result of the task-based sampling strategy used in this study, sample times reflect exposures over the time the person was actually engaged in SVF-related work activities, and exposure results are therefore presented as task-length averages (TLAs). Thirty-five total dust samples were collected as a part of this investigation, resulting in 14 TLAs ranging from 0.3 to 7.6 mg/m3. A total of 125 PCM-based TLAs were collected, with the mean TLA time for all product and occupation categories ranging from 277 to 443 minutes. The mean PCM-based TLAs for all product/occupations were below 1.0 f/cm3, ranging from 0.04 to 0.68 f/cm3. A total of 116 SEM TLAs were determined. Average SEM-based TLA concentrations were slightly lower than the PCM-based estimates and ranged from < 0.01 to 0.16 f/cm3. The geometric mean fiber diameters for commercial products and occupations sampled as a part of the investigation ranged from 0.8 μ m to 1.9 μ m. Geometric mean fiber length varied by a factor of approximately three, ranging from 9.5 μ m to 29.5 μ m.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-470
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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