The construction surfaces marketed by the Cosentino® Group have crystalline silica in these proportions by weight: Silestone® 50-90%; Dekton® 5-11%; Sensa®-Scalea® 0-99% (depending on the type of natural stone); Prexury > 90%. Crystalline silica is also contained in different amounts in usual construction materials, such as granite, slate, quartzite, clay bricks and tiles or concrete, among others.
If the necessary measures are not taken to minimize exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) of the workers during the processing of materials containing crystalline silica, massive, repeated or prolonged inhalation of this RCS may cause serious occupational diseases, such as pneumoconiosis, pulmonary fibrosis (silicosis), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or kidney disease.
The risk of contracting these occupational diseases can be avoided by following safety precautions to minimize exposure to RCS, precautions that are foreseen in the pertinent local regulations. Make sure the workplace complies with the most up-to-date directives from your local OSH governmental administration. The employers of the workers which ultimately process the products, are responsible for informing their employees about this risk. If you resell the products, you shall transmit this information related to occupational health and safety risk down the supply chain, to the workers ultimately processing the products.
The protective measures to be adopted include means to contain the dust focus (such as machining with supply of water and/or dust extraction), engineering controls, ventilation systems and air renewal, as well as the use of personal respiratory protection with suitable particle filter according to the level of crystalline silica exposure (high efficienty filter European EN143 type P3; NIOSH type N95, R95, P95 or higher; Australian AS/NZS 1716 type P1,P2 or higher). For higher protection, it is recommended to use a powered, air-purifying respirator with a tight-fitting face piece and a high-efficiency particle filter. Note that facial hair reduces the effectiveness of a mask.