Silica dust and particles are a hazard on many construction sites.
We generate silica dust and particles when we
• cut and drill concrete
• sandblast concrete
• cut and drill masonry
• grind concrete and masonry
• sand drywall.
If we breathe silica dust and particles into our lungs often enough and long enough we can get a disease caused silicosis.
Silicosis is a disabling, progressive, non-reversible, often deadly lung disease. You may show no symptoms in the early stages and severe breathing problems in the later stages.
Many workers with silicosis can develop other health problems such as tuberculosis and lung cancer. They can also develop complications such as heart disease.
When you’re doing jobs that generate silica particles—or working close by—you need protection.
Controls are simple.
• Use WATER whenever possible to control dust. Wet cutting and other wet methods can keep dust levels very low.
• If water isn’t practical, attach a dust collector to the tool or equipment.
• Wear a particulate respirator only where no other control methods are available.
• Minimum protection is a half-facepiece N95 respirator. As silica dust increases, you’ll need more protection.