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Silica

Silica is in many common construction materials, such as sand, concrete, rock, mortar and brick.  Tasks that disturb these materials can release dust containing crystalline silica into the air that can be breathed by workers.

It is important to remember these tips:

  • Use vacuums and/or water to reduce dust
  • Wear respirators if it cannot be controlled
  • Keep dust control systems in good working condition
  • Inspect vacuum filters and hoses regularly so they are not clogged
  • Do not use sand or other substances containing more than 1% crystalline silica for abrasive blasting
  • Substitute with less hazardous materials for blasting
  • If less hazardous materials are not available, wear a respirator
  • Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in areas present of silica dust
  • Leave the dusty area and wash hands and face before eating, drinking or smoking
  • Vacuum dust from clothing or change into clean clothes before leaving the work site
  • Avoid brushing or blowing dust off from clothing