Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is located in the crust of the earth. Respirable crystalline silica consists of very tiny particles. These are 100 times smaller than sand particles and are usually created when rock, stone and concrete are cut, sawed, crushed or drilled. Workers who are exposed to or inhale crystalline silica during their work can develop certain diseases.
The standards that have been set in place are based on peer reviews, consensus standards in the industries and research data gleaned from public outreach programs. They are designed to provide affordable and easy solutions that can protect workers from crystalline silica exposure in the workplace.