What is crystalline silica?
Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. The dust may become repairable particles when workers chip, cut, drill or grind objects that contain crystalline silica.
Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Breathing crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis, which can cause severe shortness of breath, weakness, weight loss, fatigue, chest pain, and in severe cases can be disabling or even fatal. Smoking adds to the damage caused by silica dust.
Who is at risk?
Working in any dusty environment where crystalline silica is present can potentially increase a person’s chances of getting silicosis. Workers who remove paint and rust from buildings, bridges, tanks, and other surfaces; clean foundry castings; work with stone or clay; etch or frost glass; and work in construction are at risk of overexposure to crystalline silica.
Ã˜ Use engineering controls, such as local exhaust ventilation and blasting cabinets.
Ã˜ Use protective equipment or other protective measures to reduce exposures.
Ã˜ Use work practices controls, such as water sprays, when cutting bricks and blocks.
Ã˜ Respirators cannot be worn by workers with facial hair, such as beards. It prevents a good seal between the respirator and the face.
Ã˜ Participate in training, exposure monitoring, and health screening and surveillance programs to monitor any adverse health effects caused by crystalline silica exposures.
Ã˜ Do not eat, drink, apply cosmetics or smoke in areas where crystalline silica dust is present.
Ã˜ Do you know of instances or can you think of examples where we work in areas containing silica?
Ã˜ Do you know how to properly use respirators for this type of work?
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