Silica is a naturally occurring mineral that comprises approximately half of the Earth’s crust
Beach sand, silicone, glass, and granite all contain silica. Basically, silica is found in two different forms such as crystalline and non-crystalline (amorphous) silica. At the workplace, silica may occur in crystalline form or in combination with other minerals or materials.
The most common form of crystalline silica is quartz and is found in sand, clay, gravel, granite, diatomaceous earth, and several other forms of rock. This form of silica is hazardous to the lungs whereas the non-crystalline silica found in silicone and glass is non-hazardous.
Silica is a component of most construction and manufacturing materials such as abrasives, asphalt, brick, coal dust, concrete, cement, mortar, graphite, stones, tiles, sand, drywall, paints, pavement, and grout.
Crystalline silica is found in products such as abrasives, concrete, pots, filter aids, masonry materials, mineral products, paints, perlite, pavement, polishing compounds, Portland cement, soapstone, slag, ceramic items, artificial stone, and glass.