Silica dust (also known as respirable crystalline silica or RCS) can seriously damage workers' health and regularly breathing in this type of hazardous substance over a long period of time can cause life-changing lung diseases.
Silica is a substance naturally found in certain types of stone, rock, sand, and clay. Working with these materials can create a very fine dust that can be easily inhaled. Once inside the lungs, it causes swelling (inflammation) and gradually leads to areas of hardened and scarred lung tissue (fibrosis)1.
Silica dust, along with wood dust, is one of the main types of construction dusts. It is present in sand, sandstone, granite and commonly found in many other construction materials such as concrete and mortar2.