Crystalline silica is found in sand or quartz and is often used in a variety of building materials, such as concrete, tile, brick, countertops, glass, and more.
Many common workplace activities,such as cutting, grinding, drilling, sawing, and polishing produce fine dust that contains respirable crystalline silica.
The word “respirable” is what makes it so dangerous.
The crystalline silica particles are tiny—smaller than the diameter of a single human hair—and cannot be seen with the naked eye.
When they become airborne, they can enter the lungs and cause a serious and deadly condition known as silicosis.
We’ve known for years that crystalline silica is a human carcinogen—meaning it can cause cancer. When a person inhales crystalline silica, the lung develops scar tissue around the silica particles. This results in a lung disease commonly known as silicosis.
As the damage continues to spread throughout the lung tissue, breathing becomes more difficult, chest pain occurs, and death may result.
There is no cure or specific treatment for silicosis.
By eliminating or strictly controlling exposure to respirable crystalline silica, you can protect yourself and those around you from contracting this deadly disease.
Find out what else you need to know to protect the health of yourself and your crew.