Safety with Respirable Silica

Be diligent about your safety when working with respirable silica! It could save your life.

What is crystalline silica?

This is a basic component of concrete, sand, granite and many other materials. If you work with sand blasting, glass etching, painting, jackhammers, asphalt, paving, ceramic manufacturing, tool and die, or construction — just to name a few — you need to be aware of silica.

To limit your risk of breathing this dangerous carcinogen, the following recommendations should be followed…

  • Wear only a N95 NIOSH certified respirator that has been properly fitted to you. Do not use with facial hair because this compromises the seal of the respirator.
  • Wear a type CE abrasive blast supplied air respirator when doing abrasive blasting.
  • Wear disposable or washable work clothes and shower before leaving the job if facilities are available.
  • Participate in exposure monitoring, training and health screening surveillance programs to minor your exposure to this dangerous carcinogen.
  • Be aware of which job functions expose you to respirable silica and use diligence in precautions when exposure to this is possible.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes while being exposed to respirable silica is extremely dangerous. It increases your chance of cancer and lung damage exponentially.
  • Do not eat, drink or loiter in areas where respirable silica is present. Please make sure you wash your hands and face before eating or drinking anything on the job when exposure is possible.
  • Be mindful of the dangers respirable silica can do to your family and children if you bring respirable silica into your home via work clothes, boots or on your person.

If you are aware of the dangers and are diligent about your safety, it can greatly reduce your risk of being exposed to respirable silica. If you have any questions, please be sure to address them at I & O Medical Centers when you are there for your respirator fit test. I & O Medical has got your back.