Crystalline silica, when it is airborne in small particle sizes (particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less, “PM10”), can cause lung diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer, among other disorders. Crystalline silica is present in a wide range of materials used in construction such as sand, soil, rock, concrete, mortar, bricks and abrasives, so there is a significant risk of exposure for construction workers. Occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica is regulated in California (CCR, Title 8, Subchapter 4, Article 4, 1532.3; Federal OSHA standard Section CFR 1926.1153)

The permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica is 50 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) and action level is 25 ug/m3.

Air monitoring for crystalline silica is done with a device called a cyclone that selects for respirable-sized particles from air collected from a workers breathing zone using a constant flow portable pump. The analysis is carried out by laboratory using a method such as NIOSH 7500.

For help with compliance with the respirable crystalline silica standards, please contact us at 800-613-6064.