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Engineering Controls for Silica in Construction

	Bricklayer using a tuck-pointing grinder equipped with an on-tool dust control to remove mortar from a brick wall

Photo Credit: Pam Susi, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Construction tasks that cut, break, grind, abrade, or drill concrete, mortar, stone, asphalt, and brick have been associated with overexposure to respirable crystalline silica dust. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that exposure could be reduced through the use of engineering controls, including the use of local exhaust ventilation to capture dust at its source and the use of water sprays to suppress dust where it is produced. These pages provide information about those controls and utilize video-exposure monitoring clips to demonstrate their effectiveness.

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