NIOSH, Partners Highlight Hazards of Silica Dust in Countertop Manufacturing

Published April 18, 2019

On May 14, 2019, the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda Respiratory Health Cross-Sector Council will host a free webinar focused on working safely with natural and engineered stone products. According to NORA, very small particles of silica dust get in the air when workers cut, grind, drill, or polish stone products such as granite and artificial or engineered stone. Breathing in respirable crystalline silica particles can cause irreversible scarring in the lungs, trouble breathing, permanent disability, and death. NORA notes that silica dust can also cause lung cancer, kidney damage, and autoimmune disease.

Presenters will discuss how to control worker exposure to silica dust during countertop manufacturing, finishing, and installation. The webinar will also cover topics such as health problems caused by silica dust exposure, federal OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica rule requirements, and methods to protect employees from silica dust.

Co-hosts of the webinar include OSHA, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch, CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training, and the Natural Stone Institute.

Event information and registration is available via Adobe Connect.

Related:By the Numbers” in the April 2019 Synergist discusses information about silicosis among stoneworkers from an audit of the manufacturing stone industry in the state of Queensland, Australia.