EXPOSURE RISKS FOR FUMED SILICA DUST
Fumed silica particles are very small and light, which means they can travel far throughout a facility. Batch mixing, equipment cleaning and other kinds of handling are all opportunities to disturb this substance and send its dust sailing.
Fumed silica is primarily a threat to the respiratory system. At certain exposures, it can cause pneumoconiosis. It is also an irritation threat to the eyes. Due to the fine nature of this powder, fumed silica can be absorbed into the body in multiple ways.
Ambient dust challenges, like fumed silica, threaten workers throughout an entire facility. A comprehensive dust control solution is needed in order to protect both floor workers and office staff.
REGULATIONS FOR FUMED SILICA DUST
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces a standard for fumed silica. This standard is expressed as a permissible exposure limit (PEL), a maximum amount of a substance that a worker can be exposed to as averaged over an 8-hour shift. The PEL for fumed silica is currently 20 mppcf, or 80 mg/m3/%SiO2. In other words, the standard varies with the percent of fumed silica present. For pure fumed silica, the standard is 0.8 mg/m3.
Making sure your air quality meets these regulations is important for protecting workers. It is also crucial for avoiding costly fines and other possible legal problems.