This paper provides guidance on the assessment, evaluation and control of occupational exposure to synthetic mineral fibres.
This paper was compiled to give guidance on the assessment, evaluation and control of occupational exposure to synthetic mineral fibres (SMF), with an emphasis on recommending a health-based occupational exposure limit (OEL). SMF, known also in the international literature as man-made mineral fibres (MMMF), MMVF and SVF, is a collective term used for amorphous vitreous fibres such as glass fibre, rock wool, slag wool, and refractory ceramic fibres (RCF), as well as the new low biopersistent1 styles, which reflect all the SMF now manufactured in Australia.
Current OH&S legislation in the States and Territories contain specific provisions requiring risk2 assessment and control of workplace exposures to all types of SMF. The introduction of the National Model Work Health and Safety Act and associated regulations in 2012 saw the existing SMF Code of Practice not replaced with an alternative. The Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) which applies to all forms of SMF should be revised.
The AIOH supports the continuance of the provision of guidance material and safety data sheets (SDS) to define the safe handling practices for end users of products containing all forms of SMF.
October 2011 (revised)
AIOH Exposure Standards Committee
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