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Silica in construction

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Silica in construction

  1. 1. Mike Slater
  2. 2. There were 42 fatal injuries to workers in Construction in 2013/14 Source: HSE
  3. 3. But that’s only part of the story Construction workers are also exposed to hazards at work that can affect their health
  4. 4. Over 500 workers believed to die from exposure to silica dust every year in the UK construction industry Source: HSE
  5. 5. Crystalline Silica A major constituent of almost all types of rock, sands and clays
  6. 6. Respirable Crystalline Silica Very fine particles of crystalline silica dust can reach the deepest regions of the lung
  7. 7. Respirable Crystalline Silica Respirable crystalline silica can cause serious lung diseases
  8. 8. Respirable Crystalline Silica Silicosis Lung cancer
  9. 9. Silicosis Scar tissue forms in the lungs
  10. 10. Silicosis Seriously affects the ability to breathe, affecting quality of life
  11. 11. Silicosis Sufferers usually become house or bed-bound and often die prematurely due to heart failure.
  12. 12. Respirable Crystalline Silica The second most common cause of occupational lung cancer in Great Britain
  13. 13. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 Other agents Working as painter Shift work Mineral oils Diesel exhaust emissions Silica Asbestos Occupational cancer deaths by cause in Great Britain, 2005 Source: HSE Research Report rr800
  14. 14. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 Other agents Working as painter Shift work Mineral oils Diesel exhaust emissions Silica Asbestos Occupational cancer deaths by cause in Great Britain, 2005 Source: HSE Research Report rr800 About 800 deaths every year
  15. 15. Respirable Crystalline Silica There is also some evidence for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  16. 16. COPD Image source: British Lung Foundation
  17. 17. Workplace Exposure Limit The UK WEL for respirable crystalline silica is 0.1 mg/m3 But this is not a “safe” limit
  18. 18. Risk of silicosis 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2 0.24 0.28 Exposure to Air Concentration of RCS for 15 Years mg.m-3 PercentageRiskofSilicosis After15YearsWork Source: HSE
  19. 19. Risk of silicosis 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2 0.24 0.28 Exposure to Air Concentration of RCS for 15 Years mg.m-3 PercentageRiskofSilicosis After15YearsWork Source: HSE
  20. 20. Risk of silicosis 0 5 10 15 20 25 0 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16 0.2 0.24 0.28 Exposure to Air Concentration of RCS for 15 Years mg.m-3 PercentageRiskofSilicosis After15YearsWork Source: HSE 2.5% risk of silicosis after exposure to 0.1 mg/m3 respirable dust for only 15 years
  21. 21. Silicosis 30 years exposure at 0.1 mg/m3 might lead to a lifetime silicosis risk of about 25%, whereas reduction of the exposure to 0.05 mg/m3 might reduce the risk to fewer than 5% (Hnizdo and Sluis- Cremer 1993).
  22. 22. What are the levels of exposure experienced by construction workers ?
  23. 23. Unfortunately there are no comprehensive studies for the UK
  24. 24. but there are for some comparable countries:
  25. 25. Drilling concrete Range 0.01 to 1.36 mg/m3 97% > 0.075mg/m3
  26. 26. Range 0.01 to 0.91 mg/m3 71% > 0.075mg/m3 Demolition
  27. 27. Range 0.01 to 0.8 mg/m3 92% > 0.075mg/m3 Pointing
  28. 28. S. M. RAPPAPORT et al. Ann Occup Hyg 2003;47:111-122 ©2003 by Oxford University Press
  29. 29. Approximately 69% of subjects performing concrete grinding were overexposed to respirable crystalline silica dust.
  30. 30. Material and task Range 8-h TWA, mg m−3 Sandstone <0.02b–6.00 Cutting angle grinderc 0.26–1.30 Cutting water-cooled primary saw <0.02–0.13 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02–6.00 Decoration hand and pneumatic chisel <0.02–0.07 Limestone <0.02–0.03 Cutting angle grinderc <0.02 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02 Decoration hand and pneumatic chisel <0.02–0.03 Lime mortar <0.02–0.06 Repointing <0.02–0.06 Granite <0.02–0.21 Cutting water-cooled primary saw <0.02–0.03 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02–0.21
  31. 31. Material and task Range 8-h TWA, mg m−3 Sandstone <0.02b–6.00 Cutting angle grinderc 0.26–1.30 Cutting water-cooled primary saw <0.02–0.13 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02–6.00 Decoration hand and pneumatic chisel <0.02–0.07 Limestone <0.02–0.03 Cutting angle grinderc <0.02 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02 Decoration hand and pneumatic chisel <0.02–0.03 Lime mortar <0.02–0.06 Repointing <0.02–0.06 Granite <0.02–0.21 Cutting water-cooled primary saw <0.02–0.03 Grinding angle grinderd <0.02–0.21
  32. 32. 8 hour TWA exposures (Geometric means)
  33. 33. Task based exposures (Geometric means)
  34. 34. What can we do to reduce the risks to health?
  35. 35. Wellbeing Health Surveillance Risk Prevention & Control
  36. 36. Wellbeing Health Surveillance
  37. 37. Wellbeing Health SurveillanceToo often, prevention and control of exposure is the missing link
  38. 38. Wellbeing Health Surveillance Risk Prevention & Control Effective prevention and control of exposure is the key to minimising the risks to health
  39. 39. Some typical control measures that can be used
  40. 40. Here the worker and others in the vicinity can be exposed to high levels of dust
  41. 41. Exposure can be reduced using water
  42. 42. Or on-tool extraction
  43. 43. A secondary water flow provided a fan-shaped water curtain sprayed normal to the path of the ejected stone dust. Jared H. Cooper et al. Ann Occup Hyg 2015;59:122-126 © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society. Or both
  44. 44. For advice on risks to health in construction and how to control them visit: www.breathefreely.org.uk
  45. 45. Join us and be part of the solution www.breathefreely.org.uk
  46. 46. http://www.slideshare.net/mikeslater http://diamondenv.wordpress.com Twitter @diamondenv Mike Slater
  47. 47. Mike Slater, Diamond Environmental Ltd. This presentation is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike UK:International Licence

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