W&W Home inspection and renovations

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Keep safe during renovations.

Today I want to talk about Silica dust during renovations.

You may not of heard of Silica dust but it is found in lots of building products from Sofits and tile underlay to certain types of cladding.

Having these products in your home is not in its self an issue but having them cut/shaped in and around your home could well be.


Once the Silica is cut the dust can cause a multitude of health issues including

  • Silicosis: Breathing in RCS can cause scarring of the lung tissue, a condition referred to as silicosis. This scarring can result in shortness of breath. The effects of silicosis are permanent and may continue to develop even after exposure has  stopped.

  • Lung cancer: If a worker has a lengthy exposure to high levels of RCS, lung cancer may develop.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): COPD is a term that refers to a chronic lung condition that may result from breathing in RCS. It can lead to breathing difficulties.

  • Kidney disease: There is evidence that silica exposure can cause kidney disease. 

The builder cutting these products may well wear a respirator or dust mask and that is all well and good for him but the dust can blow inside the house/garage any open windows or even settle on top of areas like flashing's ready to blow in once the windows are opened at a later date.

There are certain steps a builder can take including cutting with tools attached to an industrial vacuum fitted with a Hepa filter (As should be law)

But unfortunately a lot of builders do not care about the safety of others and just put on a mask and let the dust billow away.


Anyway to wrap this up if you see a builder creating clouds of dust remember it is risking you and your family's health so speak up and ask them to use a vacuum or some other way of containing the dust. You will be glad you did.


Thanks for taking time to read this.

W&W Renovations Taupo



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