Concerns over worker silica exposure cause Target to drop sandblasted jeans
In an effort to reduce silicosis hazards to denim factory workers, the Target Corporation announced recently it would phase out sandblasted denim by the end of 2012.
The Minneapolis-based company is joining with Levi Strauss & Co. to end the practice of sandblasting to produce denim clothing that appears pre-worn.
Sandblasting is one of the workplace operations that can result in worker inhalation of small crystalline silica particles. Silica has long been known to cause silicosis, a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease.
Other workplace activities that may expose workers to silica include: cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products (such as in construction operations), and operations using sand products (such as in glass manufacturing, foundries and sand blasting).