Skip to content

Silica Dust Testing

Restoration and Environmental Safety Technologies, LLC

Your #1 Source for Silica Dust Testing in Michigan.

Testing for Silica Dust

Silica dust is hazardous when very small (respirable) particles are inhaled. These respirable dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease.

Crystalline Silica is OSHA Regulated

  • Three forms – Alpha Quartz, Cristobalite, Tridymite
  • Most common is Quartz, e.g. concrete or masonry dust
  • All Silica forms have distinctive X-ray diffraction patterns

Silica Dust Exposure

Respirable crystalline silica is created during work operations involving stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, mortar, and industrial sand. Exposures to respirable crystalline silica can occur when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing these materials. These exposures are common in:

  • Abrasive blasting/crushing
  • Drilling rock and concrete
  • Masonry and concrete work
  • Mining/tunneling
  • Cement and asphalt pavement manufacturing
  • Jack-hammering
  • Brick and concrete block cutting
  • Fiber-cement siding work
  • Fracking Operations

Health Effects of Silica

Occupational exposure to crystalline silica often occurs as part of or working alongside common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products. Operations using sand products can also result in worker inhalation of small (respirable) crystalline silica particles in the air.

Health effects from silica exposures include:

  • Silicosis, a disabling, non-reversible and sometimes fatal lung disease;
  • Other non-malignant respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis;
  • Lung cancer; and
  • Kidney disease, including nephritis and end-stage renal disease.

To a lesser extent, there is cause for concern that silica exposures may be associated with auto-immune disorders and cardiovascular disease.