Oregon OSHA

Topic index

 

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.

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