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Exposure Assessment to Dust and Free Silica for Workers of Sangan Iron Ore Mine in Khaf, Iran


We aimed to conduct an exposure assessment to dust and free silica for workers of Sangan iron ore mine in Khaf, Iran. The maximum concentrations of total dust and free silica were measured in crusher machine station at 801 ± 155 and 26 ± 7 mg/m3, respectively. Meanwhile, the minimum concentrations were measured in official and safeguarding station at 8.3 ± 2 and 0.012 ± 0.002 mg/m3, respectively. Also, the maximum concentrations of respirable dust and free silica were measured in Tappeh Ghermez drilling no. 1 at 66 ± 13 and 1.5 ± 0.4 mg/m3, respectively, while the minimum concentrations were measured in pneumatic hammer at 5.26 ± 3 and 0.01 ± 0.005 mg/m3, respectively. Considerate to Iranian standard for respirable dust concentrations (0.11 mg/m3) and international standards (ACGIH = 0.1 and NIOSH = 0.05 mg/m3), it was found that dust and free silica amounts were much higher than national and international standard levels in this mine.

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The authors acknowledge the Department of Health and Security of Sangan Iron Ore Mine, Department of Environmental Health of Khaf Health Service Center, Institute for Environmental Research (IER) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences for funding and support, and Department of Valuable Metals Analysis of Geological Survey of Iran for their whole-hearted contributions. Finally, the authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Amir Hossein Mahvi.

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Naghizadeh, A., Mahvi, A.H., Jabbari, H. et al. Exposure Assessment to Dust and Free Silica for Workers of Sangan Iron Ore Mine in Khaf, Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 87, 531 (2011).

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  • Crystalline silica
  • Iron ore mine