2018 Volume 56 Issue 3 Pages 255-263
Crystalline free silica is considered as a lung carcinogen and the occupational exposure to its dust is a health hazard to workers employed in industries that involve ores of mineral dust. In Egypt, thousands of people work under conditions of silica dust exposure exceeding the occupational exposure limit, as a result the monitoring of this occupational exposure to crystalline silica dust is required by government legislation. The assessment of the later is a multi-phase process, depend on workplace measurements, quantitative analyses of samples, and comparison of results with the permissible limits. This study aims to investigate occupational exposure to crystalline silica dust at 22 factories in Egypt with different industrial activities like stone cutting, glass making, ceramic, and sand blasting. Dust samples were collected from work sites at the breathing zone using a personal sampling pump and a size-selective cyclone and analyzed using FTIR. The sampling period was 60–120 min. The results show that the exposure at each of the industrial sectors is very much higher than the current national and international limits, and that lead to a great risk of lung cancer and mortality to workers.