Question by Gopher: Dust Mask when Jackhammering Concrete – Silica?
I didn’t wear a dust mask the other day when my friend (he didn’t either) was jackhammering a small section of concrete in his basement. It didn’t get that dusty as the room was large, and I was about 15ft away from him. Plus we only used the jackhammer for 10min, and we had a fan blowing to try and ventilate the area some. I didn’t realize anything about silica until I read about it later. Anybody else done this, and if so, any health problems? This was only a one time event, and I now know next time. I just don’t want to develop anything as I am only 26. Like I said, there wasn’t much of a dust cloud and we tried to ventilate the area.
I research a little about silica and silicosis, and supposedly it takes years of exposure to develop anything. Plus, I read that your body will remove any small exposure; you don’t want to overcome your lungs with silica.
Answer by mtn_viking
You’ll be just fine. I’ve been around concrete cutting, jackhammering and drilling for years. Sometimes w/ a dust mask, mostly w/o. I’m just fine. Beat my neighbor to the top of a peak in Glacier last weekend.
Don’t make a practice of it. If you are doing any concrete demo, you want a dust mask, ear plugs, eye protection and good ventilation. Actually, that is good advice for any type of construction work that creates dust.
That being said, there are lots of trades people walking around who have largely ignored that advice and are doing just fine.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!