Publication Date: 2010.
Occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica and to radiation emitted by natural radionuclides present both in rocks and sands was studied in the Brazilian extractive process and granite product manufacture. Respirable airborne dust samples were collected in working environments, where workers perform different tasks with distinct commercial granites types, and also in places where sandblasters work with sands from different origins. The free crystalline silica contents were determined using X-ray diffraction of the respirable particulate fraction of each sample. Dust samples from granite cutting and sandblasting ambient had the natural radionuclides concentrations measured by gamma spectrometry. Dust concentrations in the workplaces were quite variable, reaching values up to 10 times higher than the respirable particle mass threshold limit value (TLV) set by the American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists of 3 mg m−3. Also the free crystalline silica concentrations were high, reaching values up to 48 times the TLV of 0.025 mg m−3. Additionally, our results suggest that the risk of radiation-induced cancer in the granite or marble industries is negligible. However, the combined exposure to dust, gamma radiation, and radon daughter products could result in the enhancement of lung cancer risks associated to sandblasting activities.
Author affiliation: Estellita, L.. Universidade Federal Fluminense; Brasil
Author affiliation: Santos, A. M. A.. Fundação Jorge Duprat e Figueiredo; Brasil
Author affiliation: Anjos, R. M.. Universidade Federal Fluminense; Brasil
Author affiliation: Yoshimura, E. M.. Universidade de Sao Paulo; Brasil
Author affiliation: Velasco, Ricardo Hugo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico San Luis. Instituto de Matemática Aplicada de San Luis; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de San Luis; Argentina
Author affiliation: Da Silva, A. A. R.. Universidade de Sao Paulo; Brasil
Author affiliation: Aguiar, J. G.. Fundação Jorge Duprat e Figueiredo; Brasil
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas