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8 hours ago, Diggingd said:

Hey Bob, not to keep this conversation going in longer, but thank you for the information, never knew that crystalline silica is toxic to the lungs, and not trying to support or deny either side of this argument, but is the crystalline silica also toxic to the digestive tract? 

Drilling rock, blasting, cutting and grinding concrete, cutting stone, even rock tumbler dust. Silica is a huge respiratory hazard and can cause all sorts of problems from long term exposure. But your stomach lining is pretty tough and does not scar up like your lung tissue. I don't think it would cause you any problem at all in your gut but I really don't know. I will probably just make you fart.

Silicosis was called "Miners Lung" back in the days of hand drilling. The guy turning the drill would wrap the steel in a wet burlap sack to keep the dust and chips out of his face. Drillers lungs would still give out in just a few years due to the fine quartz dust that was always being generated by the steel impacting the rock.

Modern mining drills use water and air flowing through the center to keep the dust wetted and eliminate the inhalation hazard. But activities that grind, drill or smash rock dry are as hazardous as heck. Guys who sandblast and work around rock crushers must be super diligent about keeping that respirator on their face. Even flint knappers can be exposed to high levels of silica in the air for long periods.


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