CARE : Contr
olled And Reduced Exposure
After two years of this programme, dust levels in the industry have shown a decrease.
What is "CARE" ?
"CARE" is a unique programme of industrial
hygiene which has been developed by the industry
to help users control and reduce exposures at the
A similar programme has been running for five
years in the USA. Last July, ECFIA completed
the second year of the programme in Europe.
During 1996-98 ECFIA hygienists, in addition
to internal monitoring, visited 113 customers
across 10 European countries. Customers were
engaged in a wide range of markets/applications.
Overall, personal air monitoring was carried out
on 1442 workers performing several categories of
tasks : fibre production, assembly, installation,
finishing, auxiliary, removal, mixing/forming and
others. These tasks were representative of those
encountered along the life cycle of Refractory
Cermaic Fibres (RCF) products.
Life cycle of RCF products
How to reduce fibrous dusts ?
In Europe, occupational exposure limits for RCF
expressed in terms of fibres per mililiter (f/ml)
are in the range of 0.5 f/ml (Germany) to 2.0 f/
ml (UK). Workplace concentrations measured by
CARE hygienists were mostly in the same range
or below. There was a marked improvement
between year I and II of the CARE programme.
In year II, 98 % of measurements (actual time
weighted averages) were below 2 f/ml and almost
80 % were below 0.5 f/ml. In year I, only 50 % of
measurements were below 0.5 f/ml.
Compared to occupational exposure limits, actual
concentrations don’t look dramatically high but
there is room for improvement especially in
finishing operations and in installation and
removal operations carried out on site. Experience
from the USA, where the programme has been
running for longer than in Europe, suggests that
lower concentrations could still be achieved. Field
observations revealed that some reduction in
exposure could be obtained through the following
◆ Selection of specially prepared products r