What is Silica?
Silica is a naturally occurring component in sand and rock. It is found on most construction sites in materials such as: concrete, dirt, graphite, granite, mica, mortar, paints, pavement, fill dirt, and brick.
When materials containing silica are grinded, cut, or otherwise disturbed, silica dust particles may be produced.
Is Silica Dust Dangerous?
Silica particles are very small, and can be extremely hazardous to your health. Exposure to silica (and inhaling it) can cause:
- Damage lungs
- Cause lung cancer
- Cause silicosis
How Can I Protect Myself?
To protect yourself against the hazards of silica dust:
- Always use appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the job, including respiratory protection
- Receive training on the proper way to deal with silica hazards
- Limit exposure by taking measures to reduce the amount of dust created (i.e. using water)