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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Hydraulic cement; Cement; various trademark names are used; Portland Cement (less than 1% Crystalline Silica)

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0577

IMIS Name History: Portland Cement (less than 1% Crystalline Silica) prior to 9/1/89

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 65997-15-1

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects (RTECS) Identification Number: VV8770000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Portland cement: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 15 mg/m3 TWA; 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-3 Table -- 50 mppcf TWA (PEL listed under Silicates (less than 1% crystalline silica), Portland Cement)

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 50 mppcf TWA (PEL listed in Mineral Dusts Table under Silicates (less than 1% crystalline silica), Portland Cement)

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 15 mg/m3 TWA; Skin 10; 50 mppcf TWA (PEL listed in Mineral Dusts Table under Silicates (less than 1% crystalline silica), Portland Cement)

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 10 mg/m3 TWA; The value is for particulate matter containing no asbestos and <1% crystalline silica.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 10 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 5000 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose; cough, sore throat, expectoration; exertional dyspnea (breathing difficulty); wheezing, asthma, chronic bronchitis; dermatitis, skin burns. INGES. ACUTE: Burning sensation, abdominal pain.

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14); Cumulative lung damage (HE10)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system


  1. Skin sensitization may occur if the mixture contains hexavalent chromium.
  2. A case of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis was described in a cement truck driver exposed to Portland cement dust and having silicon-containing particles in his lung biopsy material.
  3. Increased risks for some types of cancer (lung, bladder) among male cement production workers was reported, but adjustment for smoking in the calculations may have been inadequate.
  4. In one pulmonary function study of cement production workers, airflow limitation was more likely to occur where dust exposure was highest (packing, crusher, crane operations), in older workers, in those employed longer and with higher cumulative dust exposure.
  5. Airborne dust samples taken at various areas of a cement production plant in Saudi Arabia ranged from 2.13 mg/m3 in the kilns to 59.52 mg/m3 in the quarry area.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Portland cement.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Portland cement.
  • AbuDhaise, B.A., Rabi, A.Z., al Zwairy, M.A., el Hader, A.F. and el Qaderi, S.: Pulmonary manifestations in cement workers in Jordan. Int. J. Occup. Med. Environ. Health 10(4): 417-428, 1997.
  • Al-Neaimi, Y.I., Gomes, J. and Lloyd, O.L.: Respiratory illnesses and ventilatory function among workers at a cement factory in a rapidly developing country. Occup. Med. 51(6): 367-373, 2001.
  • Ballal, S.G., Ahmed, H.O., Ali, B.A., Albar, A.A. and Alhasan, A.Y.: Pulmonary effects of occupational exposure to Portland cement: a study from eastern Saudi Arabia. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 10(3): 272-277, 2004.
  • McCunney, R.J. and Godefroi, R.: Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis and cement dust: a case report. J. Occup. Med. 31(3): 233-237, 1989.
  • Mwaiselage, J., Bråtveit, M., Moen, B. and Mashalla, Y.: Cement dust exposure and ventilatory function impairment: an exposure-response study. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 46(7): 658-657, 2004.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Portland Cement. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1905-1906.
  • Smailyte, G., Kurtinaitis, J. and Andersen, A.: Mortality and cancer incidence among Lithuanian cement producing workers. Occup. Environ. Med. 61(6): 529-534, 2004.
  • Tosti, A., Peluso, A.M. and Varotti, C.: Skin burns due to transit-mixed Portland cement. Contact Dermatitis 21(1): 58, 1989.

Date Last Revised: 10/06/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: tared 37-mm diameter low-ash polyvinyl chloride filter
    maximum volume: 240 Liters
    maximum flow rate:1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Gravimetric
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2121)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: OSHA personnel can obtain tared sampling media from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
    note: If the net weight of the sample yields a concentration below the standard for the substance, the Salt Lake Technical Center will perform no further work on that sample. If the net weight corresponds to an amount greater than the standard, the sample may be analyzed for the appropriate element and the result reported as the substance. The Salt Lake Technical Center does not presently have the equipment necessary to perform this analysis.
    current elemental analysis method: X-ray Diffraction
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-207)
    method classification: Fully Validated

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