Crystalline Silica

Ways Exposures Occur

Crystalline silica is found in soil, sand, concrete, mortar, granite, other minerals, and artificial stone. The most common form of crystalline silica is quartz; however, it can also occur in the form of cristobalite and tridymite. When workers cut, drill, chip, sand, or grind materials that contain crystalline silica, hazardous levels of respirable crystalline silica dust can be released into the air that workers breathe.

Exposures can occur during:

  • Manufacturing of glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, concrete, and artificial stone
  • Abrasive blasting
  • Foundry work
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Stonecutting
  • Rock drilling
  • Quarry work
  • Tunneling
Page last reviewed: October 16, 2019