NIOSH REL: 6 mg/m3 (total dust) TWA, 3 mg/m3 (respirable) TWA
Current OSHA PEL: 20 mppcf TWA
1989 OSHA PEL: 6 mg/m3 (total dust) TWA, 3 mg/m3 (respirable dust) TWA
19931994 ACGIH TLV: 6 mg/m3 (total dust) TWA, 3 mg/m3 (respirable dust) TWA
Description of substance: Odorless, whitegray powder.
LEL: . . Noncombustible Solid
Original (SCP) IDLH*: No Evidence [*Note: "Effective" IDLH = 10,000 mppcf -- see discussion below.]
Basis for original (SCP) IDLH: The available toxicological
data contain no evidence that an acute exposure to a high concentration
of soapstone would impede escape or cause any irreversible health
effects within 30 minutes. The toxic effects of talc that
are described in the literature result from chronic exposures
to this substance. Talc is a major constituent of soapstone [Miller
and Sayers 1941 as cited by ACGIH 1971]. For this draft
technical standard, therefore, respirators have been selected
on the basis of the assigned protection factor afforded by each
device. However, for some particulate substances for which no
evidence of an IDLH exists, the determination of allowable respiratory
protection based on protection factors may result in the assignment
of respirators for concentrations that are not likely to be encountered
in the occupational environment. Therefore, for all such particulate
substances it has been arbitrarily determined that only the "most
protective" respirators are permitted for use in concentrations
exceeding 500 ´ the OSHA PEL (500 ´ 20 mppcf
is 10,000 mppcf).
Shortterm exposure guidelines: None developed
ACUTE TOXICITY DATA:
Animal or human data: None relevant for use in determining
the revised IDLH.
|Revised IDLH: 3,000 mg/m3
Basis for revised IDLH: The available toxicological data contain no evidence that an acute exposure to a high concentration of soapstone would impede escape or cause any irreversible health effects within 30 minutes. However, the revised IDLH for soapstone is 3,000 mg/m3 based on being 500 times the NIOSH REL of 6 mg/m3 (500 is an assigned protection factor for respirators and was used arbitrarily during the Standards Completion Program for deciding when the "most protective" respirators should be used for particulates).
1. ACGIH . Soapstone. In: Documentation of the threshold limit values for substances in workroom air. 3rd ed. Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, p. 232.
2. Miller JW, Sayers RR . The response of peritoneal tissue
to industrial dusts. Public Health Rep 56(1):264272.
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