Silica? It’s not just dust!

  Posted July 18, 2019

What is crystalline silica?

Silica is a basic component of concrete, sand, granite and many other materials. If you work with sandblasting, glass etching, painting, jackhammers, asphalt, paving, ceramic manufacturing tools or construction — just to name a few — you need to be aware of silica and its possible effects on health.

Following the following recommendations can limit your risk of breathing this dangerous carcinogen:

– Wearing a certified respirator that has been properly fitted to you. (Do not use with facial hair because this compromises the seal of the respirator).
  • – Wear a type CE abrasive blast supplied air respirator when doing abrasive blasting.
  • – Wear disposable or washable work clothes and shower before leaving the job if facilities are available.
  • – Participate in exposure monitoring, training and health screening surveillance programs to minor your exposure to this dangerous carcinogen- This is where we can help!
  • – Be aware of which job functions expose you to respirable silica and use diligence in precautions when exposure to this is possible.
  • – Smoking cigarettes while being exposed to respirable silica is extremely dangerous. It increases your chance of cancer and lung damage exponentially.
  • – Do not eat, drink or loiter in areas where respirable silica is present. Please make sure you wash your hands and face before eating or drinking anything on the job when exposure is possible.
  • – Be mindful of the dangers respirable silica can do to your family and children if you bring respirable silica into your home via work clothes, boots or on your person.

Being aware of the risks around you can greatly reduce your risk of being exposed to respirable silica. 

If your staff work with silica dust, you should consider lung function testing as part of a health surveillance strategy.

Lung Function (Respiratory)

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