Silica Dust: The Facts, The Risks & How To Protect Yourself
Silica dust kills over 1,000 workers in the UK every year
Currently, over half a million construction workers are exposed to silica dust in the UK, even with today’s tighter regulations. Second only to Asbestos, it is one of the main causes of occupational cancer deaths.
What is Silica Dust?
Crystalline silica is a material found naturally in the earth’s crust. It is found in sand, stone, rocks, concrete, bricks and mortar. The dust from crystalline silica is generated during work operations that significantly disturb any of these materials, such as cutting, sawing, sanding and drilling.
Silica dust particles are over 100 times smaller than a particle of beach sand, meaning you won’t even be aware of inhaling them. And due to their microscopic size, the body’s natural defences can’t stop them from penetrating deep into the lungs with potentially fatal consequences.