Silica dust is a significant health hazard in various industries, particularly construction and manufacturing. Workers exposed to this dust face severe health risks, including lung diseases. This article explores the most common lung diseases caused by silica dust exposure and highlights how Global Road Technology’s dust control solutions can help mitigate these risks.

The impact of Silica Dust

Silica is a natural substance found in most rocks, sand, and clay. It is a common component of construction materials like bricks, tiles, concrete, and some plastic composites. When these materials are cut, drilled, moved, or otherwise disturbed during construction, earthmoving, and civil projects, they release fine silica dust particles into the air. These respirable particles are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs, posing severe health risks. Silica dust is particularly hazardous during activities such as road construction, excavation, and soil stabilisation, which are common in GRT’s operations and come under the code of practice for managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure.

Common Lung Diseases

Health Risks of Silica Dust Exposure

Prolonged inhalation of silica dust can lead to several serious lung diseases, including:

  1. Silicosis

    • Types: There are three types of silicosis: chronic, accelerated, and acute.
      • Chronic Silicosis: Develops after 10-30 years of low to moderate exposure.
      • Accelerated Silicosis: Occurs within 10 years of high exposure.
      • Acute Silicosis: Can develop within a few weeks to a few years after extremely high exposure.
    • Symptoms: Include shortness of breath, severe cough, fatigue, and chest pain. In severe cases, it can be fatal.
  2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

    • Overview: COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, diseases that obstruct airflow and make breathing difficult.
    • Symptoms: Persistent cough, mucus production, and shortness of breath.
    • Causes: Long-term exposure to silica dust can cause inflammation and damage to the lungs, leading to COPD.
  3. Lung Cancer

    • Risk: Workers exposed to silica dust have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies crystalline silica as a Group 1 carcinogen.
    • Prevention: Minimising exposure to silica dust is crucial for reducing the risk of lung cancer.

Global Road Technology’s Dust Control Solutions

At Global Road Technology, we understand the critical importance of dust control to protect workers’ health. Our innovative solutions effectively manage and reduce silica dust exposure, ensuring a safer working environment. Here’s how our dust control solutions can help:

  1. GRT: Haul-Loc

    • Overview: This product is designed to control dust on haul roads and access roads. It significantly reduces airborne dust particles.
    • Benefits: By suppressing dust, Haul-Loc improves air quality and reduces the risk of respiratory diseases among workers.
    • Application: Easy to apply using standard water trucks, making it a cost-effective solution for large-scale operations.
  2. GRT: Wet-Loc

    • Overview: Wet-Loc is a waterless dust control solution that provides long-term dust suppression. It is ideal for areas with limited water availability.
    • Benefits: It binds dust particles, preventing them from becoming airborne and reducing inhalation risks.
    • Application: Suitable for unsealed roads, construction sites, and other high-traffic areas.
  3. GRT: Enviro-Binder

    • Overview: This environmentally friendly product stabilises soil and prevents dust generation. It is biodegradable and non-toxic.
    • Benefits: Enviro-Binder creates a stable surface that resists wind and water erosion, keeping dust levels low.
    • Application: Ideal for mine sites, construction areas, and unsealed roads.
  4. GRT: Activate

    • Overview: An advanced polymer-based product designed to stabilize soil and control dust.
    • Benefits: Suitable for construction sites, mining operations, and agricultural areas.
    • Application: Enhances soil cohesion, reduces dust emissions, and maintains a cleaner, safer work environment.

Case Studies: GRT’s Success in Dust Control Solutions

Mining Operation in Queensland

  • Challenge: A mining operation in Queensland faced severe dust issues affecting workers’ health and local communities.
  • Solution: GRT implemented Haul-Loc and Wet-Loc to control dust on haul roads and operational areas.
  • Results: Dust levels were significantly reduced, improving air quality and protecting workers from respiratory diseases.

Construction Site in New South Wales

  • Challenge: A large construction site in New South Wales struggled with airborne dust affecting workers and nearby residents.
  • Solution: GRT used Enviro-Binder and GRT: Wet-Loc to stabilise soil and prevent dust generation.
  • Results: The site experienced a noticeable reduction in dust, ensuring a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

Cattle Yard in Victoria

  • Challenge:A cattle yard in Victoria faced dust problems during dry seasons, impacting farm workers and livestock.
  • Solution: GRT applied Wet-Loc to control dust on exposed soil surfaces.
  • Results: Dust levels were drastically lowered, protecting the health of workers and animals alike.

Global Road Technology’s Commitment to Health and Safety

At GRT, we are committed to enhancing health and safety standards across various industries. Our dust control solutions are designed to meet the highest safety standards, ensuring effective dust suppression and improved air quality. By investing in our innovative products, companies can protect their workers from the harmful effects of silica dust and other airborne particulates.

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Dust Control Solutions: Research and Development 

GRT continuously invests in research and development to improve our dust control technologies. Our team of experts works tirelessly to develop innovative solutions that address the evolving challenges of dust management. By staying at the forefront of technology, we ensure that our clients receive the most effective and efficient dust control solutions available.

Training and Support

Implementing dust control measures requires proper training and support. GRT offers comprehensive training programs to help clients understand the importance of dust control and how to use our products effectively. Our support team is always available to provide assistance and ensure that our clients achieve the best results.

The Importance of Effective Dust Control Solutions

Silica dust poses significant health risks to workers, leading to severe lung diseases such as silicosis, COPD, and lung cancer. By implementing effective dust control measures, companies can protect their workers from these dangers. Global Road Technology’s innovative dust control solutions, including Haul-Loc, Wet-Loc, Enviro-Binder, GRT: Activate, and Road-Bond, offer effective ways to manage and reduce silica dust exposure.

Investing in GRT’s dust control products not only enhances worker safety but also improves operational efficiency and reduces maintenance costs. Our commitment to research and development, training, and support ensures that our clients receive the best possible solutions for their dust management needs.

For more detailed information on managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure, you can visit WorkSafe Queensland and Hopkins Medicine. Additionally, NSW Health provides valuable insights into the impact of particulate matter on health.


Dust suppression is a critical issue in the world of mining and resources.

Learn more about GRT’s industry-leading and IoT-connected SMART Dosing Units, and discover how we’re driving better dust suppression solutions.

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