In the safety and environmental fields of work, respiratory protection can quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Many construction and work sites have harmful materials and chemicals that can become airborne. If your airways are left unprotected from these dangerous particles, serious repercussions
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease forms on the mesothelium — a protective lining that covers the lungs, abdomen, heart and testes. Tumors can be benign (noncancerous). But when tumors are cancerous, doctors call the disease malignant mesothelioma. It is often shortened to mesothelioma. The American Cancer Society records about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma each year in the U.S.
Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth’s crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete, and mortar contain crystalline silica. It is also used to make products such as glass, pottery, ceramics, bricks, and artificial stone. Respirable crystalline silica – very small particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand you might find on beaches and playgrounds – is created when cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar. Activities such as abrasive blasting with sand; sawing brick or concrete; sanding or drilling into concrete walls; grinding mortar; manufacturing brick, concrete blocks, stone countertops, or ceramic products; and cutting or crushing stone result in worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica dust. Industrial sand used in certain operations, such as foundry work and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), is also a source of respirable crystalline silica exposure. About 2.3 million people in the U.S. are exposed to silica at work.
Workers who inhale these very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases, including:
- Silicosis, an incurable lung disease that can lead to disability and death;
- Lung cancer;
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and
- Kidney disease.
At ABCO Supply, we carry half and full face respirators by the brands North and 3M to protect yours and your workers lungs from airborne toxins and particles, allowing you to meet OSHA and State laws. We also carry a number of disposable respirators which meet RRP requrements.
Don’t forget to FIT test your workers regularly, at least once per year. Remind your workers to remain clean shaven as masks have a closer seal and if there are physical changes, such as weight gain or weight loss, to retest. ABCO Supply sells smoke tubes and Banana Oil to test your facemasks. REMEMBER all workers must be FIT tested before they wear a facemask to be OSHA Compliant and testing records must be kept.
For more information about our respiratory protection, call us in Lenexa, KS, at (913) 321-4100 today.
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