Silica: The New Asbestos-March 2008

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety 

March 2008

IN THIS ISSUE: Silica: The New Asbestos

Silica is a human lung carcinogen that becomes respirable when workers chip, cut, drill, or grind objects that contain crystalline silica. Silica dust enters the lungs and causes scar tissue to form, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen.

“Silica, like asbestos, causes life-threatening health problems for those exposed to it,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc, “That makes developing and maintaining an effective protection program for this cancer-causing compound of extreme importance.”

Silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. Cristobalite and tridymite are two other forms.

“Employers with employees who are exposed to silica must conduct exposure testing,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc, “If levels exceed limits, proper ventilation and personal protective equipment must be provided.”

In 2006, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) adopted the 8-hour time weighted average concentration for silica quartz and silica cristobalite of 0.025 milligrams/cubic meter. The new limit for silica was one-half of the previous recommended

For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at

OccuSafe Environmental and Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health.   OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.

This newsletter is published monthly by OccuSafe Environmental and Safety Services, Inc.   Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues.

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