About two million construction workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in over 600,000 workplaces. OSHA estimates that more than 840,000 of these workers are exposed to silica levels that exceed the new permissible exposure limit (PEL). Exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause silicosis, lung cancer, other respiratory diseases, and kidney disease. Exposure can occur during common construction tasks such as using masonry saws, grinders, drills, jackhammers and handheld powered chipping tools; operating vehicle-mounted drilling rigs; milling; operating crushing machines; and using heavy equipment for demolition or certain other tasks.
Crystalline silica is one of the most common mineral components found in the earth’s crust. Crystalline silica is found in numerous materials including sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, glass, ceramics, block and mortar. Crystalline silica may become respirable size particles, and hazardous to respiratory health when workers chip, cut, drill or grind objects that contain crystalline silica. OSHA significantly lowered the PEL and Action Levels for Respirable Crystalline Silica in 2017. J3 Resources performs X-Ray Diffraction analysis of air, bulk and other material samples (talc). J3’s PANalytical CubiX³ HR X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) complete with the newly released Bragg-Brentanoᴴᴰ optic was acquired in 2017. The XRD was custom-manufactured in the Netherlands specifically for the detection and identification of Respirable Crystalline Silica as low as 1 µg. With the new patented technology, samples that used to take hours can now be completed within minutes.
Respirable Crystalline Silica Methods
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