November 01, 2020
What makes dust so harmful for construction workers is that it’s a combination of particles from various materials used on project sites. These fine grains could be heavy metals, asbestos, pollen, silica and much more.
If inhaled, this dust can induce a number of health issues, such as heart strain, reduced lung capacity and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Silica, a small crystalline substance that’s more than 100 times smaller than ordinary sand, can also cause lung cancer, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and silicosis, an incurable lung illness that can be fatal.
In the U.S., around 2.3 million people get exposed to silica at work. When construction workers breathe in this material, along with any type of dust, they may feel like they’re experiencing allergies or a mild cold. However, as the irritants settle into the lungs, they can damage the surrounding tissue. Some diseases come on quickly, but most take a long time