Exposures and mortality among chrysotile asbestos workers. Part I: exposure estimates.
A detailed study of plant processes and dust control methods over the period 1930-1975 was conducted in an asbestos textile plant processing chrysotile. Linear statistical models for reconstructing historic dust exposure levels, taking into account textile processes, dust control measures, and job assignments, were developed. Parameters of these statistical models were estimated using 5,952 industrial hygiene sampling measurements covering the period 1930-1975. For most textile operations, exposure levels were significantly reduced by about 1940, when most engineering dust control measures were in place. Results of the exposure estimates indicated "precontrol" exposure levels to range from 3 to 78 fibers/cc with typical levels well above 10 fibers/cc. After textile operations were provided with dust control measures, estimated exposure levels ranged from 3 to 17 fibers/cc and were usually in the range of 5 to 10 fibers/cc. These exposure estimates were combined with an assessment of mortality among workers at this plant to investigate exposure-response relationships. Exposure-response results are presented in the companion manuscript in this volume.
Dement, JM; Harris, RL; Symons, MJ; Shy, CM
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