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SB 88 Management of dust containing crystalline silica (quartz)

Safety bulletin 88

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Respirable dust (ie dust small enough to penetrate the very small breathing vessels within the lung) containing crystalline silica is known as respirable crystalline silica (RCS). The predominant form of crystalline silica is quartz. In sufficient quantity RCS can cause silicosis; an irreversible, progressive and potentially fatal condition that results in healthy lung tissue being replaced by fibrous scar tissue.

Scientific evidence also suggests that silicosis can lead to lung cancer. These diseases can develop after many years of exposure to high dust levels.

Where there is a likelihood of exposure exceeding 50% of the exposure standard, a mandatory respiratory protective equipment program should be put in place until exposures are reduced using higher order controls. Respiratory protective equipment programs should conform to AS/NZS 1715:2009, Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment. The program should include a “clean shaven policy” (if negative pressure respirators are used), fit testing and training.


Department of Natural Resources and Mines

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Relates to Queensland (QLD)

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Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation


Mines Inspectorate, Queensland Government


23 Feb 2010

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