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Guest JBaymore

Silica Dust In The Mainstream News

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I make myself wear a mask, but I dislike the stupid thing. So I have been considering these instead:

http://airwarelabs.com/products/air-allergy

Nerd

 

Check if the filters are HEPA/P-100 rated.

 

best,

 

..............john

 

 

I am curious about these as I do a lot of spraying. I would love to grow my beard back out if all it required was breathing threw my nose, which I do anyways after running most of my young life for exercise. They didn't mention anywhere on the website the quality of the filter or what level it filtered. I might email them.

 

EDIT: I emailed them. I am curious to see if they work. They have a 12 hour usage. I can't imagine the filters are HEPA/P-100 rated but we will see. 

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@JBaymore,

Have you heard any feedback from the education community on how this will impact clay studios?  We have what I would call exceptional filtering in our dry material area and mixing room plus we require full coverage masks in the room...but the 50 micrograms per cubic meter standard may pose a real challenge!
 

Paul

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@JBaymore,

 

Have you heard any feedback from the education community on how this will impact clay studios?  We have what I would call exceptional filtering in our dry material area and mixing room plus we require full coverage masks in the room...but the 50 micrograms per cubic meter standard may pose a real challenge!

 

Paul

 

I was wondering about this as well. From an economic standpoint, over regulation is a bad thing, increase cost to much for small businesses and puts strain on larger companies to upgrade departments that might have just been barely turning a profit, but now will lay off. I am not sure if this qualifies as over regulation though if people were dying from lack of requirements. 

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Guest JBaymore

@JBaymore,

 

Have you heard any feedback from the education community on how this will impact clay studios?  We have what I would call exceptional filtering in our dry material area and mixing room plus we require full coverage masks in the room...but the 50 micrograms per cubic meter standard may pose a real challenge!

 

Paul

 

Paul,

 

I of course can't speak for the whole industry.  It's a topic of discussion amongst a few of us... but nothing definitive.  I'm sure it is going to start being looked into pretty fast at a lot of places.  And unfortunately, some places have totally ignored this kind of stuff in the past ... and likely will continue to do so.

 

I'd say it is time to go into the stock market and invest in companies that make PM 2.5 air sampling units.  I think a lot of testing is going to be starting shortly in lots of places  ;) .

 

My college's mixing areas are pretty "state of the art" (individual stations with slot hoods, formal engineering done on the design) so that is not a problem for us.  Kiln room can suck the pots out of the kilns and have us unload them on the building's roof.  The place that we'll be looking is likely the general classroom studio spaces to check the air turnovers there.

 

Everyone will be 'feeling their way' with this, I think.

 

The TechnoFIle piece in CM this month on top of this from OSHA is a 'double whammy'.  There is one data point in that piece that I am researching a bit more info about (point H on the graph) .  If it is truly accurate as described... it is pretty scary.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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I had OSHA come and check my classroom several years ago, due to an "Anonymous Complaint" about clay dust.  In their survey, they found nothing concerning about the amount of dust.  

 

Like I said, this was several years ago, so I don't know what they'd say now, with the new guidelines.

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Guest JBaymore

I had OSHA come and check my classroom several years ago, due to an "Anonymous Complaint" about clay dust.  In their survey, they found nothing concerning about the amount of dust.  

 

Like I said, this was several years ago, so I don't know what they'd say now, with the new guidelines.

 

The potential issue is the move from 250 mg per c. m. to 50.  HUGE magnitude of change. 

 

best,

 

....................john

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I have roof ventilation running almost all the time: you can feel the air move past you. I wear the mask when I am mixing glaze, cleaning, or something I know is stirring dust: other times I am not worried about. If need be, will go to the Farm and Home store and get a 30,000CFM grain drying fan- suck the hair right off your head.

Nerd

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Link to the actual rule:  https://www.osha.gov/silica/

Key Provisions
â—¾Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
â—¾Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
â—¾Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
◾Provides flexibility to help employers — especially small businesses — protect workers from silica exposure.

 

So, the rule is a combination of both exposure and time.  Guess the days of 24/7 in the studio are in the past. 
 

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This comes just when I'm getting my central outdoor vacuum system set up for studio .

 

As far as testing your lungs the only test I know is a lung diffusion test which is a complex test I read about about 6-7 years ago in a ceramic journal. I had my doctor order me one as the machine was brand new at our local hospital . I at age 55 then has the lungs of one in early to middle 40's. Thats about all they can tell you on lungs until you have actual systems of silicosis.

I suggest anyone who is thinking about long exposures get this test . My lungs where better than I thought from all my underwater diving working the lungs at partial pressures in the past 35 years. Its  benefit on the plus side of diving-there are some negatives as well but not lungs.

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Guest JBaymore

A regular pulmonary function test is a part of the medical monitoring mentioned.  The core idea is to get a baseline on an individual and monitor that over years of time.  There is a normal capacity decrease with aging.  But they can then spot an abnormal decrease.

 

I've had them done.  Still OK.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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Guest JBaymore

 

So, the rule is a combination of both exposure and time.  Guess the days of 24/7 in the studio are in the past. 

 

 

The PELs and TLVs have always been based on the typical industrial worker situation.  it assumes exposures that match industry jobs... so 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year.

 

The big issue for studio ceramists is that typically we do not know the actual levels that we are being exposed to for any given studio activity.  So that modeling for industry is not necessarily a good one for us.  And as you say..... we tend to work in patterns that do not match typical industry.  In some cases longer hours........ and sometime in out living spaces...... which give the body less time to recover from "insults". 

 

When air monitoring is done in ceramic art studios...... typically most activities appear to come in at lower levels that what we might assume.  But assumptions tend to get you.  So we're to that ole "glass half full .... glass half empty" business.

 

best,

 

.....................john

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