NIOSH Technology Can Reduce Silica Exposure at Fracking Sites

NIOSH has developed a "mini-baghouse" that helps to protect workers in the oil and gas industry.

NIOSH announced it has developed a "mini-baghouse" that can protect oil and gas extraction workers by controlling silica dust at hydraulic fracturing sites.

The mini-baghouse was designed to control dust emissions from hatches on top of sand movers, which are a major source of silica dust. NIOSH field-tested the prototype, collecting 200 air samples in 12 locations with and without the mini-baghouse. Results found that the mini-baghouse reduced the amount of airborne respirable crystalline silica by 79-99 percent.

The results also showed that the particles captured were considered "extremely fine," the type of dust that is highly respirable and penetrates the lungs.

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