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Testing for Silica is becoming increasingly important in the workplace


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that 1.7 million U.S. workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace.

Westmont, NJ, August 31st, 2009

Crystalline silica is the scientific name for a group of very common minerals composed of silicon and oxygen. The use of the minerals goes back from early civilization all the way to modern times. Exposure to crystalline silica can happen in a number of occupations including construction, masonry, ship building, sandblasting and the mining industries to name a few.

Scientists and health professionals have been aware of the dangerous of prolonged and repeated exposure to the minerals for many years. The health effects of crystalline silica include silicosis which is a disabling and nonreversible lung disease that can cause death. Other dangerous health effects include lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases.

NIOSH reports that each year more than 250 people die from silicosis and hundreds more are disabled. There is no cure for the disease and it is 100% preventable if exposure is limited and personal protective equipment and proper ventilation is implemented.

According to OSHA and the OSH Act employers are to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

“EMSL has a long history, dating back to 1981, of providing testing services to protect worker health,” reported Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “It’s important that workers and management understand the long term risks posed by crystalline silica and to help educate them about the dangers we have provided a free educational poster available at our website,” Frasca continued.

EMSL Analytical, a leading environmental testing laboratory, has many years of experience analyzing crystalline silica samples from the workplace according to published testing standards. To learn more about testing for crystalline silica contact EMSL Analytical at (800) 220-3675, visit or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and industrial hygiene services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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