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Discussion> Talk with your colleagues about it!
  • All machines at this project are equipped with a dust extractor and/or a water inlet that helps prevent (quartz) dust spreading.
  • I think dust extraction on outdoor machinery is over-the-top.
06 Gevaarlijke stoffen - Organisme
 > Quartz dust

Quartz can be found in sand and natural rocks, thus in many building materials. If more than 1.5% of a material is made up of quartz, it is called quartzite material.

Examples of materials with a high level of quartz are:

  • Sandstone (50-90%);
  • Sand-lime stone (30-83%);
  • Aerated concrete (12-44%) and
  • Concrete stone (23-40%).

These materials are often used. In a solid form quartz is not dangerous.

Modifying everyday building materials that contain quartz results in dust. For instance, when:

  • drilling holes in order to place window frames and profiles for isolation, pipes etc.
  • milling of pipeline trenches with the wall milling machine;
  • grinding out seams;
  • cutting of kerb stones and roof tiles;
  • drilling and cutting concrete;
  • sanding floors;
  • demolishing buildings;
  • making mortar, mixing and pouring;
  • cleaning: wiping, brushing, blowing with compressed air.
Not this way
But this way
But this way
Risks > What can happen?
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (black lung disease);
  • Pneumonia;
  • Lung cancer.
Control measures > What must you do?

For our building site employees

  • Only use (hand) tools with a dust extractor and/or a water inlet which helps prevent (quartz) dust spreading;
  • If accessories are missing, report this to the site manager and discuss how and when the work can be carried out without endangering anyone’s health;
  • Do not remove the dust control accessories from your tools, even it they make it more difficult to work with the tools;
  • If you are using a water inlet to limit dust, respiratory protection with a P3-filter is mandatory (dust particles in water spray);
  • Ensure there is sufficient ventilation and a clean work floor;
  • Work as much as possible above the wind;
  • Keep your work place clean by vacuuming (do not sweep);
  • Wash your hands before you eat;
  • Shower after completing activities;
  • Ensure there is sufficient drinking water on site.

    For our work planner/procurement and site manager

  • Opt for material without quartz as much as possible;
  • Opt for tailormade materials as much as possible;
  • Opt for less damaging working methods;
  • Fit hand tools with accessories;

Rotate employees to keep exposure to a minimum