Reduciendo la exposición al polvo de sílice: Todo lo que debes saber

Reducing silica dust exposure: Everything you need to know

If you are reading this article, you probably already know Silica dust and its issues at workplace. Before going for the in-depth information about available technologies and tools for controlling Silica dust exposure, let's revise the most essential characteristics of this element.

Silica is a natural element which is very common in the planet. Its composition, SiO2, can be found in crystalline and non-crystalline form. Materials which are composed of silica are not dangerous by themselves. However, when modifying and working with them, they generate tiny particles which may introduce in our lungs when breathing and damage them.

The list of materials that contain silica is very large: brick, cement, concrete, asphalt, etc. and as we said, it is when we work with them that the dangerous silica dust to which construction and other industry workers are exposed is produced, either we are cutting, drilling, rectifying… the materials.

Inhaling Silica dust can therefore cause severe diseases such as silicosis (which derives in tuberculosis), lung cancer, chronic obstructions in the lung, kidney diseases and other types of cancer. In fact, World Health Organization (WHO) classifies crystalline silica as a carcinogen.

Permissible Silica dust exposure levels are set between 0,05mg and 0,025mg, depending on the country and institutions. This means that even a very tiny amount of silica dust can be very hazardous for health. Therefore, workers of those industries which work with materials that contain silica are easily exposed to the inherent risk. Then, ¿How do we minimize silica dust exposure?

Our team of cleaning equipment professional technicians explain in-depth the different solutions available to control silica dust exposure and minimize workers exposure.

As we've seen, Silica dust presents as a problems in some work environments, putting worker's health and safety in risk, and sometimes, exposing businesses to potential fines and complaints. Using the adequate machines and technologies, we will be able to achieve safe and healthy work environments which will increase workers productivity and comply with current regulations.


One way to control silica dust exposure is using water surplus when cleaning the floors. Walk-behind and rider scrubbers are the best option to puddle the floor. They can be used to cover the floor with water. This way, we prevent dust from dispersing in the air.
After covering the floor with water, we will use the suction function to remove the already wet dust from the ground.

Wet sweeping is achieved incorporating a sprayer in rider sweepers, and it is very efficient in removing silica dust. Water from the sprayer is directed to the front of the sweeper, where the brushes and the dust are found. This way, silica dust keeps wet until it is collected via HEPA filtration.

We must carry out an adequate and constant maintenance and use the machine following manufacturer's instructions in order to achieve the highest performance. HEPA filter's last up to 6 months, depending on the use.


A very efficient way of removing silica dust is attacking its origin. We can use vacuums with HEPA filter to remove silica dust in these situations, but if we are exposed to huge amounts of silica dust, we must also use a sweeper or scrubber as explained above.

When emptying the filter, we must watch out the normative established in our facilities for the dumping of the waste.


This method may only be used when the rest of the methods are not feasible. It is then when we can use sweepers with HEPA Filters, either it is walk-behind or rider sweepers.
In order to protect even more the user of the machine, sweepers can also be equipped with cabins in some models. It is important to check that the HEPA filters are certified by the supplier.


In order to control silica dust exposure, it is important to start from an integrated control plan, which we must develop having into account the work environment and the organization's specific characteristics. This plan must include every detail from the machine to be used in every case to the different ways to control the dust.

In MAFS, we help you finding the machine which better fits your organization's needs. Our solutions may help you achieving a safe and healthy environment, as well as complying with the regulations regarding exposure to silica dust.

¿You want a study of your facility's needs? Contact us using the contact form on our website.