Why Must Workers be Prevented from Breathing In Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)?

RCS is found in many industries such as construction and demolition, quarrying, slate mining and slate processing,˜ potteries, ceramics, ceramic glaze manufacture, brick and tile manufacture, foundries, refractory production and cutting,˜ concrete product manufacture, monumental and architectural masonry manufacture, stone fireplace and kitchen worktop manufacture.

RCS is a naturally occurring substance and can be found in many materials such as stone/rocks, bricks, concrete, sand, clay and many others.

When these materials are blasted, cut, drilled, polished or ground, small sized particles can be generated which can be inhaled and reach the deep parts of the lung.

If RCS is inhaled it can lead to diseases such as silicosis which is a disabling and irreversible lung disease which can also be fatal as it restricts the lungs ability to function properly.

RCS is also known to cause lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a group of lung diseases which result in severe breathlessness, coughing and chronic disability. It is also irreversible and can lead to death.



How We Can Help

When you engage Viridis to conduct an assessment of worker exposure to RCS our study approach uses a of combination of detailed observation and a range of validated measurement methodologies to:

  • assess worker exposure compared to relevant regulatory and/or in-house exposure limits
  • determine the efficacy of existing control measures
  • assess the suitability of any respiratory protective equipment used
  • assess the level of regulatory compliance.

Our study findings report will also provide recommendations to improve control and reduce risk to workers.