Silica dust can mean harmful exposure. Whether you built a new home, recently renovated your property or had a reconstruction project in the works, your property could be at risk for harboring silica dust. Over time, this can cause a myriad of problems, including fatal health conditions. To be prepared and avoid issues with this dust, take a look at our top four tips for dealing with the issue.
1. What is Silica Dust?
Silica is a hard, unreactive, colorless compound that occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks. Crystalline silica, or silica dust, is made up of tiny particles of silica that have become airborne. This dust can occur after cutting, drilling, sanding or grinding materials that contain silica. Materials that contain silica include sand, concrete, brick, stone, mortar, quartz and more.
If you have undergone home renovations where crystalline silica is present, you could be at risk of some damaging effects that exposure to this compound causes, mostly involving damage to the lungs.
2. Dangers of Silica Dust
While these particles might just seem like harmless dust, silica dust is actually extremely dangerous when inhaled. Breathing in this dust can lead to silicosis. Silicosis is a long-term lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust. After breathing in this harmful dust, it travels to your lungs and eventually causes swelling. Over time, this swelling can turn into hardened and scarred lung tissue, or fibrosis.
Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of silicosis can take several months or even years to develop. This means you could be inhaling silica and damaging your lungs for long periods of time without even knowing it. Typically, silicosis does not develop until at least 10-20 years, but in some cases, it can develop in as little as five years. Even rarer, silicosis can develop after only a few short months if the conditions are bad.
The main symptoms of silicosis are usually associated with a persistent cough, shortness of breath, weakness and tiredness. In addition to silicosis, inhaling silica dust can also lead to other harmful conditions and diseases like lung cancer.
To learn more about the risks of silica dust, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for information on the topic.
3. How to Avoid Silica Dust
While the dangers of silica dust are certainly scary, it is quite preventable. During renovations that involve work such as sandblasting, masonry, grinding, or sawing, be sure that your contractor is taking the necessary steps to contain the worksite dust. Silica can exist in materials such as stone, tile, brick, concrete, and drywall.
Should you need silica, quartz or vermiculate materials and dust removed and cleaned from your home or property, please call a remediation professional. Remediation Group, Inc. provides these services in the state of Georgia and follows the standards put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
4. Professional Silica Dust Removal
Because of the many risks factors and dangers associated with silica dust and inhaling it, it is important to trust a professional to take care of the problem. Attempting to clean up silica dust on your own could lead to more exposure to the harmful substance. Furthermore, without the right tools, techniques and experience removing silica dust, an abundance of particles could be left behind.
At Remediation Group, we understand the need for thorough cleaning of any and all silica dust. In addition, we have the right tools to get the job done right! Following a strict protocol from OSHA, our team is equipped with the knowledge to make sure your home and air is clean and safe.
If you suspect you have silica in your home after renovations, reconstruction, home builds or other construction projects, please call our office today to schedule a free property evaluation at 404-214-1470.
You can also visit www.remgroupinc.com to learn more about our company and the many services we offer. At Remediation Group, we offer a wide range of services for both commercial and residential properties. We look forward to working with you soon!