NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Taking silicosis personally.
Excel 1995 Jan; 7(5-6):10-15
Silicosis is a debilitating, incurable, and potentially fatal lung disease caused by breathing very fine rock or sand dust containing crystalline silica. Since a major portion of the earth's crust contains crystalline silica, there are numerous ways in which construction workers may be exposed to this dust. For example, when rock drilling, sandblasting, or concrete and masonry sawing are performed, controls are necessary to prevent silica dust from being in the air. Since 1974, NIOSH has recommended that silica sand or other abrasives containing more than one percent crystalline silica not be used for abrasive blasting concrete and masonry contain crystalline silica in varying amounts, and therefore, pose a health problem if they are saws, drilled blasted with abrasive or otherwise made into a dust and dispersed into the air. Sanding drywall joint compound is another source of crystalline silica exposure for many construction workers.
Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lungs; Construction; Construction-workers; Mining; Silica-dusts; Silicates; Silicosis
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
14464-46-1; 14808-60-7; 15468-32-3
Issue of Publication
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division