What is it?
Silica is a common mineral which can be found in bricks, tiles and concrete. Silica can become a fine dust when these materials are being worked on. Some workers may breathe in some of this dust without knowing it. Silica dust can cause scarring and stiffening of the lungs, which cannot be reversed. This condition is known as silicosis.
Silicosis can lead to a range of other conditions such as:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Kidney disease
- Lung cancer
All Australian workplaces need to follow health and safety rules to prevent exposure to silica dust and give information and training to workers. It is important to speak to your doctor if you think you may have been exposed to silica dust.