Dust is everywhere in composites manufacturing which creates widespread hazards.
An article posted on the Composites Manufacturing website stated that "ACMA staff is not aware of any composites dust that did not test as hazardous using OSHA’s approved test methods."
So, it is important to follow the PELs set out by OSHA in order to prevent explosions and fines. Below are some common hazardous dusts found in composites manufacturing with their PELs.
- Silica Crystalline
- Quartz (respirable): 10 / (% SiO₂ + 2)
- Quartz (total dust): 30 / (% SiO₂ + 2)
- Cristobalite: ½ the value calculated for quartz
- Tridymite: ½ the value calculated for quartz
- OSHA Proposed limit for Respirable Crystalline Silica: 50 µg/m³
- Inert (Nuisance) Dust
- Respirable Fraction: 5 mg/m³
- Total: 15 mg/m³
- Respirable Fraction: 5mg/m³
- Total Dust: 15 mg/m³
OSHA recommends that "the dusts should probably be controlled at levels below the PEL for inert dust, but not approaching the PEL for crystalline quartz."
To view more regulations and recommendations for this industry, visit the following websites.
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor
ACGIH - American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency
CSB - U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Please note, this is a list of common applicable regulations, not a comprehensive list of all regulations applicable to this industry and may not reflect the latest publications.