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Silica Exposure in Sandblasting, Construction and Other Occupations

Mark P. Rossow, PhD, PE Retired

Course Outline

This two-hour online course describes the various forms of silica, their hazard to health, and means of reducing or eliminating silica exposure.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

Intended Audience

This course is intended primarily for civil, construction, industrial, and mechanical engineers and others responsible for protecting personnel exposed to crystalline silica in the workplace.

Benefit to Attendees

An attendee would be aware of the need to limit silica exposure of workers and also would know techniques and equipment available to do so.

Course Introduction

Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by breathing in crystalline silica.  Silicosis accounts for about 200 deaths in the U.S. every year.  In the construction industry, the most severe exposures to crystalline silica result from sandblasting.  Other activities that may produce crystalline silica dust include jack hammering;  rock/well drilling; concrete mixing and drilling; brick and concrete block cutting; tunneling operations; cement and asphalt pavement manufacturing; setting, laying and repair of railroad track; and foundry operations.

Course Content

This course is based on the document, “Silica Exposure in Sandblasting, Construction and Other Occupations” by Mark P. Rossow.

Silica Exposure in Sandblasting, Construction and Other Occupations

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Course Summary

The course consists of 74 slides with accompanying commentary, providing a concise, graphically illustrated, and easily digestible introduction to the subject.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.