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Wet concrete cutting lowers silica concentration: study

February 6, 2013

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Silver Spring, MD – Airborne crystalline silica concentrations are reduced by more than three-quarters when using wet concrete cutting rather than dry cutting operations, according to a study from the Center for Construction Research and Training, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Researchers ran a series of tests in which a reinforced concrete pipe was cut by gas-powered portable concrete saws under both dry and wet conditions – the latter of which involved water from a hose and a sprayer as dust control. In the wet cutting conditions, silica concentrations were reduced by 85 percent over dry cutting.

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.

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