15 years of monitoring occupational exposure to respirable dust and quartz within the European industrial minerals sector
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Introduction: In 2000, a prospective Dust Monitoring Program (DMP) was started in which measurements of worker's exposure to respirable dust and quartz are collected in member companies from the European Industrial Minerals Association (IMA-Europe). After 15 years, the resulting IMA-DMP database allows a detailed overview of exposure levels of respirable dust and quartz over time within this industrial sector. Our aim is to describe the IMA-DMP and the current state of the corresponding
... rresponding database which due to continuation of the IMA-DMP is still growing. The future use of the database will also be highlighted including its utility for the industrial minerals producing sector. Methods: Exposure data are being obtained following a common protocol including a standardized sampling strategy, standardized sampling and analytical methods and a data management system. Following strict quality control procedures, exposure data are consequently added to a central database. The data comprises personal exposure measurements including auxiliary information on work and other conditions during sampling. Results: Currently, the IMA-DMP database consists of almost 28,000 personal measurements which have been performed from 2000 until 2015 representing 29 half-yearly sampling campaigns. The exposure data have been collected from 160 different worksites owned by 35 industrial mineral companies and comes from 23 European countries and approximately 5000 workers. Conclusion: The IMA-DMP database provides the European minerals sector with reliable data regarding worker personal exposures to respirable dust and quartz. The database can be used as a powerful tool to address outstanding scientific issues on long-term exposure trends and exposure variability, and importantly, as a surveillance tool to evaluate exposure control measures. The database will be valuable for future epidemiological studies on respiratory health effects and will allow for estimation of quantitative exposure response relationships.