Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Background: The term "crystalline silica" refers to crystallized form of SiO2 and quartz, as the most abundant compound on the earth’s crust; it is capable of causing silicosis and lung cancer upon inhaling large doses in the course of occupational exposure. The aim of this study was to assess occupational exposure to dust and crystalline silica in foundries in Pakdasht, Iran. Materials and Methods: In this study, airborne dust samples were collected on PVC filters (37 mm diameter, 0.8 mm pore size), by using a sampling pump and open face cyclone at a flow rate of 2.2 l/min for a maximum volume of 800 liters. For determining crystalline silica spectrometry was used according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) method No. 7601 for analysis of samples. Results: Results showed that crystalline silica concentration was higher than NIOSH and the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH) allowed extent (0.025 mg/m3). Concentration of crystalline silica was 0.02-0.1 mg/m3. Total dust concentration average was higher than the allowed extent by Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Conclusion: It is essential to take necessary measures to control crystalline silica dust regarding the fact that 50% of workers are exposed to higher than the allowed extent.