Silica exists just about everywhere on and off construction sites. It’s the second most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, and it’s contained in sand, brick, block, concrete, tile and other building materials. Mechanical construction workers frequently engage in activities that produce respirable silica dust. Whether or not the dust containing silica becomes harmful depends on many factors, including the size of the particles, the concentration of respirable silica being inhaled and the duration of the exposure. Any time an activity involves pulverizing concrete or any other material containing silica, respirable silica dust may become an issue. Under the right conditions, overexposure to silica can lead to silicosis and other health problems.
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