Abrasive blasting operations can create high levels of dust and noise. Abrasive material and the surface being blasted may contain toxic materials (e.g., lead paint, silica) that are hazardous to workers.
- Silica sand (crystalline) can cause silicosis, lung cancer, and breathing problems in exposed workers.
- Coal slag and garnet sand may cause lung damage similar to silica sand (based on preliminary animal testing).
- Copper slag, nickel slag, and glass (crushed or beads) also have the potential to cause lung damage.
- Steel grit and shot have less potential to cause lung damage.
- Slags can contain trace amounts of toxic metals