Benchmark Environmental Engineering provides silica testing in San Jose and throughout California in order to prevent employee exposure to harmful silica dust. New regulations have been released by OSHA regarding respirable crystalline silica, which reduces the permissible exposure limit and requires employers to utilize engineering controls to prevent workers from breathing in this harmful substance. There are also new regulations regarding respirators, exposure control plans, and medical exams all of which will be put into effect within the next 1-5 years depending on the industry involved.
Respirable Crystalline Silica Is Harmful To Human Health
This final rule issued by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been issued to reduce the amount of illnesses and deaths caused by American workers being exposed to silica dust on the job. On average, 2.3 million workers become exposed to respirable crystalline silica each year. These carcinogenic little particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause major long-term damage and even death.
Being in contact with sand or other materials that contain silica is not dangerous. The hazard occurs when the substance is ground or drilled into tiny particles and released into the air where it can be inhaled into the lungs. Strong scientific evidence shows that exposure to silica dust can exponentially increase the risk of developing lung cancer for anyone who breathes it in. Respirable crystalline silica can also cause:
- Kidney Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Cardiovascular Disease
Who Is Exposed To Silica Dust?
Human exposure to respirable crystalline silica occurs primarily in industrial or occupational environments. When materials which contain silica are ground, sawed, or drilled into respirable size particles and inhaled, it can be extremely harmful. Workers in construction, manufacturing, and even hydraulic fracking could potentially be at risk of exposure if they grind, chip, crush, or saw materials containing silica such as brick, concrete, marble, glass, or stone.
Severe exposure to respirable crystalline silica has been seen in workers who perform tasks which involve abrasive blasting with sand in order to resurface concrete or metal structures and remove paint or rust. Activities like manufacturing brick or concrete blocks and ceramic products or crushing stone will generate silica dust and also put a worker at risk.
Silica Exposure Testing Is Important
Contact the experts at Benchmark Environmental Engineering for silica testing in San Jose and throughout California. Don’t let your employees be at risk of exposure to these harmful, carcinogenic particles as it can become debilitating or even deadly. Give us a call today and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.