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Occupational Health Hazards: Dust and Chemical Exposures

Coal Dust-Related Illnesses:

Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) is caused by inhaling coal mine dust. Early signs may appear within 10 years of mining. No cure exists, but prevention is crucial. Current OSHA PEL for respirable coal dust is 2.4 mg/m3.

Cobalt-Related Illnesses:

Acute exposure causes eye and skin irritation, while chronic exposure leads to respiratory and dermatological issues. High-risk occupations include machining cobalt alloys. OSHA PEL for cobalt is 0.1 mg/m3.

Formaldehyde-Related Illnesses:

Formaldehyde, a potential carcinogen, is found in various products. Workers may inhale or absorb it, risking respiratory issues. OSHA PEL for formaldehyde is 0.75 ppm (8-h TWA).

Lead-Related Illnesses:

Lead exposure can cause brain, nerve, and reproductive disorders. OSHA 8-h PEL for lead is 50 μg/m3, with monitoring requirements.

Silica-Related Illnesses:

Silicosis is caused by inhaling silica dust, leading to respiratory issues. OSHA 8-h PEL for silica is 50 μg/m3.

Zinc-Related Illnesses:

High levels of zinc dust or fumes can cause metal fume fever. OSHA PEL for zinc oxide is 15 mg/m3 (total dust) and 5 mg/m3 (respirable fraction).

Aluminum-Related Illnesses:

Aluminum dust irritates eyes and respiratory tract. OSHA PEL for aluminum is 15 mg/m3 (total dust) and 5 mg/m3 (respirable fraction).

Antimony-Related Illnesses:

Exposure to antimony can cause eye, lung, and stomach issues. OSHA PEL for antimony is 0.5 mg/m3.

Thallium-Related Illnesses:

Thallium exposure can lead to various health issues. OSHA PEL for thallium is 0.1 mg/m3.

Pesticide-Related Illnesses:

Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides can cause neurological effects. OSHA sets specific PELs for pesticides.

Dust-Related Illnesses:

Excessive dust in workplaces can cause various respiratory ailments, including pneumoconiosis. OSHA 8-h PEL for particulates not otherwise regulated is 5.0 and 15 mg/m3 (total particulates).

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