04
Aug

What is Crystalline Silica & Silicosis?

What is Crystalline Silica & Silicosis?

Silica dust (crystalline silica) is found in stone, rock, sand, gravel and clay. It is also used to make a variety of products that include engineered stone such as kitchen and bathroom benchtops, bricks, tiles, and some plastics.

What is crystalline silica & silica dust?

Crystalline silica is essentially silicon dioxide, a natural compound made of two of the earth’s most abundant materials: Silicon and oxygen. The most common type of crystalline silica is quartz.

Silica dust is usually generated when cutting, grinding, drilling, sanding, mixing or demolishing materials that contain silica. Sometimes these dust particles are so small that they are not visible.

What are the dangers of silica dust?

When respirable silica dust particles are excessively inhaled they can be quite hazardous to the lungs. The size of the airborne silica particles determines the amount of risk. Smaller particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs where they can cause damage.

If a worker is exposed to and breathes in silica dust in excessive amounts it increases the risk of Silicosis. Silicosis is a type of lung disease which can lead to a wide range of health problems.

There are three types of silicosis: acute, chronic, and accelerated.

• Acute silicosis, which causes cough, weight loss, and fatigue within a few weeks or years of exposure to inhaled silica.
• Chronic silicosis, which appears 10 to 30 years after exposure and can affect upper lungs and sometimes cause extensive scarring.
• Accelerated silicosis, which occurs within 10 years of high-level exposure.

Because of the risks involved with Silica dust, it is our top priority to protect the health and safety of all our employees. We’ve put in place a set of extensive control measures that will help ensure our employees are working in a safe environment. More information below.

Are Engineered Stone Benchtops Safe?

Engineered stone benchtops are perfectly safe for our customers. They only pose a risk when workers are dry cutting, grinding or drilling the material. Once the material has been installed they are completely harmless to you and your family.

Bravvo is a family-owned and operated business which started in 1995. We’ve established extremely high standards for material quality and have been working with engineered stone benchtops for a very long time.

For more information regarding our services and safety measures, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

Resources

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/silica
https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/causes-and-prevention/workplace-cancer/silica-dust
https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/silicosis/learn-about-silicosis