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. For general inquiries about hazardous building materials, please contact

Exposure control

SFU is required to control, prevent and limit the exposure of silica as low as reasonably achievable.  To meet this requirement SFU maintains a level of oversight on all active construction projects to meet compliance with WorkSafeBC regulations and guidelines.

Silica abatement at SFU

All silica abatement work at SFU is conducted in accordance with WorkSafeBC regulatory requirements.  For projects that involve large quantities of silica-containing materials or work activities with a high potential for silica exposure, a third party, qualified consultant reviews work procedures, conducts inspections and collects air samples to confirm that all safe work procedures are strictly adhered to.  A final visual inspection is also conducted prior to re-occupancy of the work area.

Silica at SFU

Silica is primarily found on campus in the following forms:

  • Concrete
  • Cement
  • Asphalt
  • Ceramics
  • Terra Cotta
  • Brick
  • Plaster