How can I determine the current level of exposure to talc in the workplace?


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My company makes a small product made of silicone tube. This product is produced in very large quantities and is stored in bulk. When storing the product we noticed that it tends to get sticky and difficult to separate over time. To combat this issue, some of our employees designed a vibratory hopper system to deposit a small amount of talc on/into the product as it is being manufactured. This solves the issue of it sticking together, but now I am concerned about our employee's exposure to talc dust.

OSHA states that the permissible exposure limit to talc dust is 2mg per m3. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday researching how to test this. I found this web page which specifies the testing procedure but I do not have the necessary equipment or expertise to perform the test. There is no suggestion on the page as to whom to contact to request a test.

Does anyone have any guidance on where to go for testing permissible exposure limits (PEL)? I was astonished to find so little information about this on OSHA's website. Maybe I missed something, but it appears that very little guidance is provided by OSHA in helping companies test PELs.


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You may need an accredited specialist lab to determine the airborne talc levels in your workplace.

Any idea where I might find a specialist lab? Maybe I am not entering the correct search terms, but I haven't seen anything promising as a result of my google searches.


"You can observe a lot by just watching."
You need a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) to do air monitoring. I used to belong to the 2 organizations below when I was doing safety management

American Industrial Hygiene Association (Homepage | AIHA)

American Society of Safety Professionals (American Society of Safety Professionals)

You'd be wasting time and effort contacting labs and all that, it takes professionals to do professional work.

This is what I came here to say - an industrial hygiene evaluation is the term you're looking for. I ran into a similar situation with a powder used in a lab. IH evaluation was able to determine we were way, way below any exposure limit for that chemical. We still took short term and long term steps to minimize exposure, but it was a relief to know the current process wasn't dangerous while the longer term mitigating actions were put in place.


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Thank you all for the replies. They were exactly what I needed. Using the links you provided I was able to find a handful of companies to reach out to for a quote. I'll let you know if I have any further questions. But seriously, thank you very much.
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