Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in naturally occurring and man-made materials like sand, concrete, brick, block, stone, mortar, plaster, clay and many others. Amorphous silica, such as silica gel, is not crystalline silica.  Respirable crystalline silica is typically at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand found on beaches or playgrounds. It is generated when silica-containing materials are manipulated in such a way that a dust is created-some fraction of that dust may include particles small enough to become respirable. Respirable-sized particles can reach the deeper recesses of the lungs and inhalation of these respirable crystalline silica particles over time can cause adverse health effects. The information below is intended to provide staff and students with information on the health effects of respirable crystalline silica, control measures and the relevant OSHA standards and resource materials. Please contact EHS with any questions or concerns regarding silica or silica-related exposures.

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