Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth's crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. It is also used to make products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone.
Respirable crystalline silica – very small particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand you might find on beaches and playgrounds – is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Activities such as abrasive blasting with sand; sawing brick or concrete; sanding or drilling into concrete walls; grinding mortar; manufacturing brick, concrete blocks, stone countertops, or ceramic products; and cutting or crushing stone result in worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica dust. Industrial sand used in certain operations, such as foundry work and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is also a source of respirable crystalline silica exposure. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.
Silica Standards 06-2018
Fact Sheet: OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime
Fact Sheet:L Crystalline Silica Rule: Construction (OSHA 3681 03 2016)
Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for General Industry and Maritime OSHA 3911
OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
Silica Construction News Release 09 2017
OSHA Issues First Silica Rule Enforcement Guidance 2017
OSHA's Silica Webpage