The Dangers of Silica Dust

Crystalline silica

Crystalline silica



Operating in Houston, Texas, Sandbox Logistics provides hydraulic fracturing proppant transportation services for the oil and gas industries. Committed to health and environmental safety, Sandbox Logistics helps reduce the impact of silica dust on jobs sites and in nearby communities.

Crystalline silica, found in the earth’s crust, is a basic component of many minerals. Quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are all forms of crystalline silica that can become inhalable dust when they are cut or ground.

This dust is harmful when inhaled, causing problems including lung cancer, silicosis, and kidney disease. Workers may be exposed to silica dust when they are sawing or drilling industrial materials or when they have to deal with large amounts of industrial sand. Studies show that more than two million workers in the United States are at risk of exposure to silica dust.

The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses sand and liquid to extract gas and oil from the earth. As the popularity of fracking grows, the threat of silica dust air pollution, which can affect residents near frac mining and processing sites, is getting higher.