- General safety
- Research safety
- Construction safety
- Safety committees
Silica is a basic component in sand and rock, and is used in many materials found throughout Simon Fraser University including concrete, ceramics, brick, plaster and more. These materials do not pose a health hazard unless they are disturbed.
Silica-containing materials are only a health risk when they are disturbed and the silica becomes airborne and inhaled.
Health effects can follow after very high exposure after a few weeks to 5 years (acute silicosis), after high concentrations over 5 to 10 years (accelerated silicosis), or after low concentrations over 10+ years (chronic silicosis). This can cause thickening of the lungs with scar tissue, which can result in lung cancer and possibly death.
As a member of
- Be aware that silica is present within many different materials on campus and it may be found in the buildings you occupy
- Understand that if silica-containing materials are intact and in good condition that it does not pose a health concern
- Refrain from damaging building materials as they could potentially contain silica
- Do not rip or uninstall items off of walls, floors or ceilings
Inform your supervisor and EHS if you notice debris or damaged building materials such as walls, floors or ceilings