The application of dustiness tests to the prediction of worker dust exposure.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Cincinnati, OH.
AIHAJ 05/1990; 51(4):217-23. DOI: 10.1080/15298669091369565
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Laboratory bench tests, known as dustiness tests, have been used to evaluate and compare the potential of various powders to cause occupational dust exposure. Dustiness tests are used to develop products with reduced dust emissions. The correlation between dustiness test results and dust exposures was evaluated at two bag dumping and bag filling operations. At one bag dumping and one bag filling operation, there was evidence of a relationship between dustiness test results and dust exposures. In one case, regression analysis showed that dust exposures could be predicted to within nearly one order of magnitude. The variability in this prediction was caused by the inherent variability in the occupational dust exposures. In the other case, there was evidence of a correlation after the data had been adjusted for the effect of varying drop height. At the remaining two operations, no correlation between dust exposures and dustiness test results were observed. These results indicate that the relevance of dustiness tests to occupational dust exposure needs to be evaluated at each site. Because a better option does not exist, manufacturers should continue to use empirical dustiness tests to develop better products in the laboratory. The conclusions reached in the laboratory need to be validated by dust exposure measurements in the field, however.

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