Dust and silica


Dust and respirable crystalline silica

Respirable crystalline silica is a chemical agent whose health hazard is well known. Prolonged exposure to high concentrations of the agent can cause silicosis and other diseases, including lung cancer. For this reason, the current trend in risks prevention related to this agent in the workplace is to reduce workers exposure in order to reach values much lower than those legally established (treshold limit value – time weighted average (TLV-TWA) exposure limit), thereby demonstrating a continuous improvement of prevention.


The European Union recognized the carcinogenicity of respirable crystalline silica with the amendment of Directive 2004/37/EC, concerning the protection of workers against the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens during work, including the mentioned agent. The National Institute for Silicosis collaborates in the transposition of this directive into Spanish regulations, as well as in the development of the associated mining regulations.


In addition to this, the INS has a vast experience and the necessary equipment to carry out advisory works regarding technical dust prevention in different sectors. In relation to this, the Institute has performed several studies in the field of mining (open pit and underground), countertop manufacturing, foundries, ceramic manufacturing companies and dental prosthetics laboratories, amongst others.