Ever try Google? 180,000 hits on "silica sand danger"
Silica is the most abundant constituent of the world s minerals and rocks.
It occurs in two forms, free and combined. The
combined forms, or silicates, do not usually present any serious hazard to
health. On the other hand free silica, or silicon
dioxide, does present a health hazard and is the subject of this booklet. It
is the common constituent of quartz, granite,
sandstone, sand, flintstone and slate.
Prolonged inhalation of high concentration of dust containing free silica
will cause the lung disease known as silicosis. This disease is serious and
may lead to a permanent incapacity for work in the affected person; it may
also be associated with an increased danger of contracting tuberculosis, or
aggravating tuberculosis already present.
• Do not use disposable dust masks if the dust has any silica. Disposable
masks do not protect you from silica. They do not form a snug seal with your
• For abrasive blasting, replace silica sand with safer materials. The U.S.
government's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
says do not use sand or any abrasive with more than 1% crystalline silica in
it. Specular hematite, crushed glass, some slags, or steel grit and shot may
be good substitutes. (Use of some slags and steel grit may increase worker
exposures to some toxic metals.)
Tens of thousands of square miles of silica sand being ground upon itself
by wind and wave. Yes, a little different indeed.
Beach sand started out as big rocks. Ever wonder why it is roughly uniform
in grain size?
Glad you got my point. The water washing away any dust is much different
than airborne very fine silica. It is not skin contact that is the
problem, it is the very (extremely?) fine particles that get into your lungs
that cause the problem. You get that with blasting, but not in a water bath
that takes it away.
See, I knew we'd agree on this.
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