The State of California requires a warning label on playsand containing crystalline silica. That is because most of the sand found in today’s stores is not natural sand, but actually derived from quarried quartz rocks. The dust from such sand is regulated by OSHA and known to cause fatal lung conditions. You can find more information here:
The State of California requires the above warning label on playsand containing crystalline silica. That is because much of the playsand found in today’s stores is not natural sand, but actually derived from quarried quartz rocks. Children, who have developing lungs, breathe in crystalline silica dust as they play in the sand. Frequent sandbox play creates continued exposure to this known carcinogen.
Chapter 3. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 * 12000. Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity.
Silica, Crystalline: Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. More than one million U.S. workers are exposed to crystalline silica, and each year more than 250 die from silicosis. There is no cure for the disease, but it is 100 percent preventable if employers, workers, and health professionals work together to reduce exposures.
U.S. Department of Labor Program Highlights OSHA Fact Sheet: 96-54 – 01/01/1996
Crystalline silica, also known as quartz, is a natural compound in the earth’s crust and is a basic component of sand and granite. Silicosis is a disease of the lungs caused by breathing dust containing crystalline silica particles. The dust can cause fibrosis or scar tissue formations in the lungs that reduce the lungs’ ability to work to extract oxygen from the air. There is no cure for this disease, thus prevention is the only answer.
Early stages of the disease may go unnoticed. Continued exposure may result in a shortness of breath on exercising, possible fever and occasionally bluish skin at the ear lobes or lips. Silicosis makes a person more susceptible to infectious diseases of the lungs such as tuberculosis. Progression of silicosis leads to fatigue, extreme shortness of breath, loss of appetite, pain in the chest, and respiratory failure, which may cause death. Acute silicosis may develop after short periods of exposure. Chronic silicosis usually occurs after 10 or more years of exposure to lower levels of quartz.
Health Effects of Inhaled Crystalline and Amorphous Silica (from the EPA website)
ABSTRACT: Recently, public concern regarding nonoccupational or ambient silica exposure, mainly to crystalline silica, has emerged making it important to evaluate background and ambient concentrations. Ambient emissions of silica rarely are estimated or measured in air pollution studies of particulate matter.
Crystalline silica is widely used in industry and has long been recognized as a major occupational hazard, causing disability and deaths among workers in several industries. This is a health risk assessment covering the causes and studies of crystalline silica exposure.
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