The Benefits and Challenges of a Voluntary Occupational Exposure Database

ArticleinJournal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 53(6 Suppl):S52-6 · June 2011with6 Reads
DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821b175f · Source: PubMed
Abstract
This article describes the experience of creating and implementing an occupational exposure database for synthetic vitreous fibers (SVFs). The lessons learned and benefits achieved through this experience may be instructive to government and industry when assessing the need, utility, and design of an occupational exposure database for nanomaterials. This article consists of an empirical account of the issues faced during the construction and maintenance of an occupational exposure database for SVFs. The occupation exposure database for SVF proved to be beneficial and successful but encountered several challenges relating to data consistency, data quality, and other problems. The SVF database provides a good case study to illustrate the potential benefits and challenges of creating and administering an occupational exposure database.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Health and Safety Partnership Program is a voluntary workplace safety program for workers involved in the manufacture, fabrication, installation, and removal of glass wool and mineral wool products. This article describes one element of this Partnership Program, the development of an occupational exposure database that characterizes exposures by fiber type, industry sector, product type, and job description. Approximately 6000 exposure samples are included in the database, most of which were collected over the past decade, making it the most extensive and recent exposure data set on record for glass wool and mineral wool. The development of this database, as well as the initial results for exposure measurements segmented by product type and/or job description, are described. The current database shows that most applications and uses of glass wool and mineral wool involve exposures below the voluntary 1 f/cc permissible exposure limit, although some specific product types and job descriptions involve average exposures approaching the 1 f/cc limit.
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Occupational exposure databases are being used increasingly to characterize worker exposures in industries involving a variety of exposure scenarios. The glass and rock/slag segments of the synthetic vitreous fiber industry (in the United States) has developed a large (>14,000 samples) exposure database that can be used to estimate worker exposures based on industry sector, fiber type, product type, and job function. This article describes the development of this database as part of an industry-Occupational Safety and Health Administration collaborative Health and Safety Partnership Program and summarizes the findings and potential applications of the database.
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