Life is not a bed of roses for everyone. Every individual faces a lot of challenges and issues, which may seem like a piece of cake to others, but it does not undermine the hassles that individuals have to face. Similarly, working can be hard for everyone, but the people working in the field face a little more and complex challenges and issues as compared to others, and exposure to silica dust hazards is one of them.
What is Silica Dust?
Silica dust is the airborne particles that are produced from a vast range of construction and grinding materials that can be inhaled. The particles are so fine and invisible to the human eye that limiting their exposure is difficult. For doing that, investing in safety equipment is more than necessary. However, before that, learning about exposure conditions and hazards is critical.
Dig deeper into the details of this article to get your hands on all you need to know about silica dust hazards.
Top 3 Activities Causing Exposure to Silica Dust Hazards
In recent times, world societies are becoming more and more conscious and critical of workplace hazards like exposure to silica dust. The issues loom in specific types of work settings and industries, and identifying or pointing out them is crucial to move ahead with safety precautions.
Here are some of the major activities leading to long-term exposure to silica dust hazards.
- Mining, Tunneling, and Extractive Minerals
The very first activity that exposes the workers to silica dust is mining, tunneling, and extracting minerals. The workers have to dig in caves and tunnels, which can expose them to numerous gases and silica dust. This is why many authorities consult safety equipment suppliers in UAE and invest in the right equipment to maximize the safety and health of their workers.
The next activity leading to exposure to silica dust hazards is construction. During construction, the workers come in close contact with cement, bricks, and tiles and have to mix or grind them, which produces silica dust. Therefore, working in the constriction work increases the risks of exposure to silica dust which is quite harmful.
The last activity which exposes workers to silica dust is ceramics. In this type of work, the workers have to closely work with materials like granite and silicone and have to cut, grind and chisel the materials which produce silica dust. They end up inhaling it while working without noticing any issue and end up falling ill.
Top 3 Hazards of Long-Term Silica Dust Exposure
Every workplace has its own set of hazards and issues; however, some are fatal and more toxic than others. The same is the case with long-term exposure to silica dust, as it can be inhaled unconsciously and stays in the body to damage it internally. Due to this, it is the leading case of major health hazards in workers exposed to it.
Here are some of the major hazards of long-term silica dust exposure that you need to watch out for.
- Lungs Cancer
One of the most critical health hazards of long-term silica dust exposure is lungs cancer. The workers end up inhaling the dust unknowingly, which becomes a part of the body as it cannot be eliminated through coughing. Over a long period of time, it damages the lungs and causes cancer. If the exposure limit is higher, then damage can be intense even in a short period of time.
- Kidney Failure
One of the major health hazards caused by long-term exposure to silica dust is kidney failure. Once the workers have inhaled this fine dust, the body cannot excrete it through any means. It keeps piling up in the body and takes the shape of stones which damage the functionality of kidneys. At times, the workers only get to know the issue when their kidneys have failed.
Long-term exposure to silica dust can cause the hazard of silicosis. It is a specific fatal disease that develops by inhaling silica dust over a long period of time. Due to the fine and tasteless particles, the workers are unable to notice any issue with what they are inhaling, but the result can take their life. Therefore, you must consult safety equipment suppliers and invest in the right safety gear that can safeguard the health of your workers.
Are your workers exposed to silica dust?
If your workplace is exposed to or directly deal with silica dust, then you have the responsibility of making it safe and hazard-free for your workforce. You might not have a clear idea about what you need to do and how you can limit the damages; it is quite expected and normal. In such a scenario, contact professionals and let them assess your needs, as well as recommend the best supplies that can make your workplace safe for all.