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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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The questions in this area are intended to identify the laboratory staff's knowledge of the analysis of silica, the associated problems, and potential solutions.

Any sampling situation can be rift with potential problems, such as:
  • What materials are in use in the workplace that might interfere with the analysis of silica?
  • Will the operations being monitored produce excessive levels of dust?
  • In light of the interferences that may be present, will the analytical method identify silica at a low enough level?
The analytical problems presented by a given sample will depend on the techniques used by the laboratory for the analysis. If they are not knowledgeable about the method they are using and its limitations, the possibility for incorrectly analyzing the samples increases. Similarly, knowledge of the sampling method and the workplace will aid the laboratory personnel in identifying potential problems prior to beginning sample analysis. In some instances, this will allow the method to be judiciously modified in order to minimize the problems.

Experience with the analysis of samples for silica is an indication of the knowledge an individual or organization has had an opportunity to gain. Experience is a difficult parameter to measure; length of time or number of analyses are often a good gauge.
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