More than 1 million U.S. workers are exposed to crystalline silica. Each year, more than 250 American workers die with silicosis. There is no cure for the disease, but it is 100 percent preventable if employers, workers, and health professionals work together to reduce exposures.
In addition to silicosis, inhalation of crystalline silica particles has been associated with other diseases, such as bronchitis and tuberculosis. Some studies also indicate an association with lung cancer"
Rock and stone
Occupations that put workers at an increased risk of silica exposure include:
Agriculture (dusty conditions from disturbing the soil, such as plowing or harvesting)
Ceramics, Clay, Pottery (Pottery?!)
Railroad track setting, laying, and repair
Woo-hoo! Sorry, boys, I'm taken - hold yourselves back
Now, I'm quite certain that if you make 3 cast leaves for your garden, you do not need all that protection. But I'm going on 4 years now of working with that stuff almost daily, so I figure I'd better be safe than sorry. Still, everytime I develop any kind of cough, I start to think, "Oh, no! Silicosis!" (did I mention I'm sort of a hypochondriac?).