Breathing in minute crystalline silica particles can cause multiple diseases, including silicosis, an incurable lung disease that leads to disability and death. Employees who work in occupations with silica exposure are also susceptible to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. These diseases are life-altering and debilitating disorders that annually affect thousands of workers across the United States.
In today's work climate, respiratory protection seems to be involved in all areas of safety, from the Construction Industry with issues surrounding the new Silica Standard requirements to indoor air quality in the General Industry arena. Having a good respiratory protection program could potentially prevent hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses every year.