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Unread 09-23-2010, 01:19 PM   #1
Getat151
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Worried about silicosis

Hi I've been doing bath and kitchen remodels for 4 years or so and in those 4 years I've done alot of tile hardly ever using a mask...I used a wet saw but i cut hardy backer with a grinder most of the time outside and a few times I cut it inside making alot of dust....I'm wondering if there is anybody else out there like me who was an idiot and did stuff like that...are u still healthy? Do you have any lung issues...now I use a mask for everything and cut everythig out side....just wondering how much exposure would it take to get acute silicosis and if anybody knows anyone who has it....thank you in advance for your time...this issue has been really making me anxious!
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Unread 09-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Drew,

Welcome.

Went through an Osha audit regarding this a few years ago..My Dad has some Lung problems from years of exposure and we are very cautious about airborne Silica these days.
It's really a matter of duration and concentration of exposure..My guess is your probably just fine but only a doctor can determine that.
This is one positive ( And I'm NOT a big fan of OSHA or regulation) thing that fines and regulation have done for many of us. Being aware and taking preventative measures are very simple.
As a stone Fabricator we are especially at risk and we have become a 100% wet fabrication shop as a result. Tile crews need to be aware that stone ( like Granite) concrete, cement board, and even thinset and grout dust can be bad if you breath it in every day..Also slap your pants sometime...The stuff gets everywhere and can come home with you.

You can't stop living but you can be smart. Sounds like your doing just that by asking.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
Getat151
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Thanx for the fast reply...how is your dad now...can he still work? What was his exposure specifically to silica? How many years did he have in the trades?....it's crazy cause it didn't dawn on me that I was doin something hazardous to my lungs untill last week when I made a dust cloud and I was standing in it...I held my breath but I'm sure I inhaled some of that in...I'm
just wondering how long it would take to develope acute silicosis
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Unread 09-23-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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Drew my Dad has been doing Tile & Stone for the better part of 30 years..His exposure was high. Dry Grinding stone, concrete ect for years with no protection. It hasn't really affected him severely but he carries around an inhaler and his lung capacity is diminished. He's been to the doc about it and it is not going to kill him, but he was warned not to expose himself to dust ect.
I think for us the real easy one is be careful with thinset and grout. Grinding a big floor or a slab would dictate some sort of protection as the air is full of dust...But I recall busting my back on all night commercial jobs, throwing around almost empty bags of mortar and thinset, and being covered in thinset dust all day as the hod carrier. That sort of thing is preventable, and while not a huge concentration, it's the one that will creep up on you over years.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
jadnashua
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The results don't usually happen immediately...you may not notice anything for years, if then. Same idea with smoking, it takes years, and the body has a reasonable ability to heal itself. A chest x-ray might show something. Ask your doctor about it the next physical.

They do make shears for the Hardieboard stuff...quick and no dust.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
Getat151
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Yeah I can be a bit of a hypochodriac....after I made that big dust cloud it clicked in my head to do some research and that's when I came across silicosis and I scared myself so bad I could barely sleep and I started having anxiety and I stared having shortness of breath which I knew was triggered by my anxiety. For the four years I've worked in this industry I've never seen anyone wear a mask for anything and these guys were much older than me and doing it for alot longer....so I followed suit...they told me to rip this out and demo that and I never thought about wearing a mask...I guess I'm just wondering if anyone on this board was ignorant like me during their first yeas and how is there health now? And if they know anyone with silicosis...it seems to be pretty rare....mostly affecting sand blasters and miners
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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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Just wondering if there are any other guys out there that can relate to my situation or know anyone who has silicosis or has been exposed to high levels of silica like from grinding/cutting CMU
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Unread 09-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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Unread 09-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #9
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You can definitely tell you're a bit of a hypochondriac, haha. Why not just swing by the doctor if you're so overly concerned? They can probably do a few quick tests. I doubt 4 years of exposure is going to do too much damage. You are probably having what my wife's mother (who's a nurse) calls "WebMD syndrome".
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Unread 07-19-2021, 10:26 AM   #10
Leon Trevino
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Silica dust

Drew

I was wondering how you are feeling these days. Do you have problems with the silica dust from the past? I don’t do tile for a living but was working on my restroom and was grinding inside without a mask.
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Unread 07-19-2021, 10:27 AM   #11
Leon Trevino
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Silica dust

I guess I’m feeling how you were 11 years ago scared and anxious.
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Unread 10-15-2021, 12:04 AM   #12
wavil001
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I came across this thread and wanted to chime in. 4 years ago, I remodeled my bathroom. I sanded drywall and grinded thinset....without a mask. I had no idea. I was exposed to so much dust in this project. Now I am aware of the dangers of silica and am a bit nervous. I haven't really been in contact with dust since then. But I wonder if I should be worried.
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Unread 10-15-2021, 07:11 PM   #13
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Well having been a helper since I was 17-18 (37 now) and didn't think anything about my lung health until maybe 7 years ago I can tell you I've done all those things and more. Feel great! Keep up with my son playing soccer, hike etc.

I am not a doctor though and still have a lot of life to live to see if any long term effects happen from the trade so take what I've said considering those facts.
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Unread 10-15-2021, 10:10 PM   #14
jadnashua
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Lung cancer from smoking can take many decades, and some people smoke multiple packs a day and never get it...the ODDS of getting it go up the more exposure you have. The same is true of silicosis. The scaring it can cause is cumulative...depends on the the concentration and frequency of your exposure.
https://youtu.be/1FZS8s3KdTA Getting it means the lungs aren't working as well as they could, and increases your likelihood of other lung diseases. It seems like the increase of health problems is in the 20% range...IOW, one in five people with regular, significant exposure are likely to get sick with it. The less exposure, the more infrequent, the odds go down.

The sharp crystals are hard for the lungs to expel. That means they can accumulate, irritate the tissue, and cause it to scar over, blocking off the viable air sacks.
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Unread 10-19-2021, 11:12 AM   #15
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Since this thread has popped back up I'll chime in. I was in charge of looking into the tightened OSHA rules for contractors when I was at MAPEI a few years ago and have to deal with OSHA regulations for my factory now. Some points to keep in mind:

Silicosis is a real thing and you should wear a respirator or use HEPA dust collection if you're generating respirable, crystalline silica dust.

Respirable silica dust is really small, typically not the visible dust you kick up at a job site

Products that don't contain crystalline silica won't cause silicosis. There are mortars and grouts available now that don't. Tile and stone only do if you dry grind/cut them.

Silicosis develops due to repeated exposure over a long duration, generally decades.

There are limits out there considered safe and testing can be conducted to determine if you are above or below them during a certain activity

Educate yourself, protect yourself!
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