WHAT IS RCS?
Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) is a product of, among many tasks, cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, polishing, crushing or even dry sweeping products that contain crystalline silica (quartz) such as concrete, mortar, brick and other cement-based materials just to name a few. RCS particles are not always visible under normal lighting, can stay airborne for long periods, and can easily be inhaled, potentially causing irreparable or even fatal harm to human health.
RCS EXPOSURE RISKS
Exposure to RCS can lead to silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability or death. RCS can also contribute to lung cancer, renal cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Individual susceptibility varies so steps to eliminate or minimize exposure to RCS even below the exposure standards established by Safe Work Australia should be taken including engineering and administrative controls and the proper selection, fitting and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
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