New OSHA health hazard information cards on crystalline silica exposure help workers and employers understand more about how to protect themselves against exposure to silica dust. Two separate cards, available in English and Spanish, provide a quick reference and recommendations for construction and general industries.

Silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly two million U.S. workers. The most severe exposures can occur during abrasive blasting with sand. Other common exposures to silica dust can occur during the manufacturing of cement and brick; mixing or drilling concrete and mortar; and the manufacturing of china, ceramic and asphalt.

The new pocket-sized cards identify the symptoms of silicosis and the most common causes of occupational exposure. The cards also outline ways to protect against exposure to silica dust, including recommendations for appropriate use of respirators and personal protective equipment.

The crystalline silica exposure cards are free of charge and can be downloaded from the publications page on OSHA's Web site -