A1: Research Roundup Aerosols 1

Dr Winnie Chu, PhD Author
Nanozen Industries
Vancouver, BC 
Dr Custodio Muianga, PhD, MPH, CHMM Author
Snellville, GA 
United States of America
Mon, 5/24: 10:00 AM  - 11:00 AM 
Research Roundup 
Room: Virtual 1 

Content Level



Hazard Recognition/Exposure Assessment
Sampling and Analysis
Sensor Technologies


NIOSH FAST Method on RCS in Iron and Copper Mines and Beyond

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM 
Crystalline silica is classified as a Class I human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) causes lung disease and cancer. Managers, workers, and occupational health professionals have been aware of the issues for years. Detection methods, exposure assessments and controls have been implemented to understand and prevent exposure with limited success due to the complexity and diversity of working environments, as well as delays in obtaining crucial quantitative data on aerosolized RCS due to conventional analysis methods. Compliance-based sampling and analytical methods take a long time to be carefully developed, reviewed and implemented. However, many of the current sampling methods are based on 1960's technology and do not take advantage of modern electronics. Typical sampling methods draw air with a pump to collect samples on a filter which must be shipped to an accredited lab for analysis. This time-consuming technique greatly hinders implementation of timely preventive and corrective measures to reduce or eliminate occupational exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a post-shift sample analysis method called FAST (Field Analysis of Silica Tool) using portable FTIR (Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) to quantify RCS in coal. We have combined FAST method with the Standard Addition technique for copper and iron mines to achieve high accuracy. 


A. Engarnevis, Nanozen, Vancouver, BC, Canada; C. Barzan, WorkSafeBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 

Acknowledgements & References

J. Nichol, Vancouver, BC, Canada 


Dr Winnie Chu, PhD, Nanozen Industries Vancouver, BC 

Assessment of Community Exposures to Ambient Crystalline Silica Dust near Industrial Silica Sand Mining and Processing Facilities

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM 
The case study focuses on evaluating community exposures to outdoor crystalline silica and airborne particulate matter from a silica's sand-mining facility, mining pits and silica sand processing facility in Northeast of Chicago IL. Mining activities that break up soil and rock layers can release particulate matter (PM) into the air that are invisible to the naked eye. We measured particles with aerodynamic diameters that are 10 micrometers (µm) and smaller (PM10); and fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are 2.5 µm and smaller (PM2.5) based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) references methods, and respirable crystalline silica (here designated PM4 crystalline silica ) using the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 7500 X-ray diffraction. Air pollutant concentrations were compared to contaminant-specific, health-based comparison values (CVs) from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (CA OEHHA). The measured concentrations were relatively lower and health effects were expected. However, we recommended best practices to limit point and fugitive emissions of particulate matter throughout their site operations. 


Motria Caudil, Peter Kowalski, Aaron Young.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA 

Acknowledgements & References

The findings and conclusions in this presentation have not been formally disseminated by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Special acknowledgments to my co-scientists and supervisors. ATSDR/DCHI/SSB for the Support and review. Authors, Technical Advisors Co-Authors: Custodio V. Muianga Motria Caudill Technical Contributors and Reviewers: Peter Kowalski Mark Johnson Brad Goodwin James Durant Aaron Young René J. Suárez-Soto ERG Contract Support Scott Sholar Liz Bertelsen Naida Gavrelis  


Dr Custodio Muianga, PhD, MPH, CHMM, ATSDR Snellville, GA 
United States of America