Home >  Blog >  Let's talk Silica Safety

Let's talk Silica Safety

Posted by SafeWork NSW on 19 June 2019

Silicosis can kill, but exposure to silica dust is preventable. SafeWork NSW is spreading this message by educating workers and the public about the risks of exposure

What is Crystalline Silica?

When products or materials containing crystalline silica are cut, sanded or drilled into, a very fine dust is created. This dust is harmful when inhaled and can lead to silicosis. Silicosis can be fatal within five to 10 years sometimes for people as young as 20 or 30.

Where is Crystalline Silica found?

Engineered materials containing silica, such as manufactured stone.

Typical crystalline silica levels in different materials are:

  • sand and sandstone: 70-100%
  • manufactured stone: 93% or higher
  • granite: 20-45% (typically 30%)
  • concrete and mortar: 25-70%
  • calcium-silicate bricks: 50-55%
  • slate: 20-40%
  • brick: up to 30%
  • fibre cement sheets: 10-30%
  • demolition dust:3-4%
  • marble:2%
  • limestone: 2%

More about crystalline silica

Learn more about crystalline silica harms, where it's found and other relevant publications please click here

Author: SafeWork NSW
Tags: Resources

Our Partners

209/4 Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills, New South Wales 2153

(02) 9630 4844

Bookmark SiteTell a FriendPrintMember Login