Crystalline silica is an abundant natural material found in soil, stone, and sand. It is also present in many construction materials such as brick, mortar, and concrete. It becomes respirable when any of these materials are cut or broken down into fine particles.
More than 85% of workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica work in the construction industry. Other industries where workers are exposed include: asphalt roofing materials, concrete products, cut stone, dental laboratories, foundries, jewelry, porcelain enameling, pottery, railroads, ready-mix concrete, shipyards, structural clay products, and support activities for oil and gas operations.
Below are some of the illnesses that can be caused by excessive inhalation of crystalline silica:
A tiny bit of stubble can break the seal of a tight-fitting respirator, meaning you and your lungs are no match for the toxic particles that can slip through.Download the infographic