What is Respirable Silica Dust?

Respirable silica is a form of dust particle that when breathed into our bodies, can penetrate deep into our lungs causing irreversible damage. According to Safe Work Australia, respirable silica is generated through workplace mechanical processes such as crushing, cutting, drilling, grinding, sawing or polishing of natural stone or man-made products that contain silica.

Prolonged exposure to silica dust can lead to silicosis or better yet ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’. In what is incidentally the longest word in the English language, 45 letters to be exact, it is a rather overt way to describe a covert disease. Ironic.