RCF is ubiquitous in industrial plants which use hot processes, and despite the ACGIH TLV, there's no specific OSHA standard. That's because it's almost impossible for OSHA to promulgate a health standard through the incredibly labor-intensive and time-consuming process we have.
Instead, RCFs and all other miscellaneous particulates without specific standards are considered "nuisance dusts," with a PEL of 5 mg/m3 (respirable).. As in - cancer is a hell of a nuisance.
We try to educate people about it, and we try to put a stop to the worst work practices, but it's an uphill battle. I once saw a company use an RCF gasket to seal a box-annealing furnace, which is a large cylindrical box lofted by a crane and set down over stacked steel coils. The box is filled with an inert gas - usually hydrogen - and heated. The process affects the grain structure of the steel. When the process was complete the hydrogen was evacuated; the box was lifted; and the now-friable RCF gasketing was blown out with compressed air, exposing everyone in the shop.
Michael J. Wright
Director of Health, Safety and Environment
5 Gateway Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Work (412) 562-2580
Cell (412) 370-0105
Fax (412) 562-2584
Visit us on the web at www.usw..org
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