Crystalline silica is an abundant natural material found in soil, stone and sand. It is also present in many construction materials such as brick, mortar and concrete. It becomes respirable when any of the afore-mentioned materials are cut or broken down into fine particles.
Exposure to respirable crystalline silica is nothing new for employees on construction sites. However, this exposure can cause serious health issues. In response to these concerns, OSHA issued a new rule on exposure to silica in construction.