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Silica

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Overview

Silica, also called silicon dioxide, exists in many different forms and is one of the most common minerals on our planet. Silicosis is an incurable, often fatal, disease caused by exposure to one of the most common forms of silica – crystalline silica dust. Crystalline means that the oxygen and silicon atoms are arranged in a specific pattern. The dust particles are so small you can see them only with a microscope.

You may be using products or materials that contain crystalline silica and not even know it. If your workplace is a dusty one or if you work with materials that produce dust, you should be concerned about silicosis and crystalline silica hazards.

  • Brochures/Guides
  • Fact sheets
    • Crystalline Silica: Specified Exposure Control Methods (Table 1)
      Most employers must evaluate employee exposures to crystalline silica to ensure that employees are not overexposed. Table 1 is a flexible alternative that identifies 18 common construction tasks that generate high exposures to respirable crystalline silica and specifies engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection for each task.
      English  01/10/2017
    • Overview of Oregon OSHA’s silica rules for general industry and construction
      Describes the main elements of the silica standard, including exposure control plan, workplace exposure assessment, permissible exposure limit, restricted areas, engineering and work practice control, table 1 for construction activities, respiratory protection, housekeeping, medical surveillance, information and training, and recordkeeping.
      English  01/10/2017
  • Hazard alerts
    • Dust control during tuckpointing
      Construction workers are exposed to hazardous dust when grinding or cutting mortar or cement from between the bricks of old buildings.
      English  Federal OSHA/NIOSH  09/05/2008

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