Health Advisory - Silicosis
What is silicosis?
Silicosis is a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease that can afflict workers who are overexposed to fine airborne particles of crystalline silica.
Crystalline silica is the second most common mineral in the earth's crust (a basic component of sand, quartz and granite rock). When workers breathe in dust containing silica, scar tissue can form in their lungs and reduce their ability to extract oxygen from the air. There is no cure for silicosis -- prevention is the only answer.
Silica dust is created by sawing, grinding, drilling, and/or crushing bricks and is present in the cleanup and disposal of brick dust and wastes. Breathing silica dust poses a potential health hazard to your respiratory system and may cause serious lung disease, cancer, or death.
NIOSH or other approved respiratory protection or dust control measures may be required to reduce potential exposures to silica dust. Information on appropriate respirators and other protective equipment and dust controls for silica dust can be found at www.osha.gov. Wet methods and equipment, such as wet saws, should be used to saw, grind, drill or crush bricks in order to reduce potential exposures to silica dust.
Additional health and safety information, including information on OSHA recommended exposure levels, is provided in the MSDS (PDF file; requires free Acrobat reader).