Respirable Crystalline Silica

Penn State’s Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) Program has been established to protect the health of employees and personnel utilizing natural or man-made RCS-containing materials during the course of their work at Penn State properties and facilities, primarily through reducing and controlling airborne dusts which contain RCS. 

This work may include various construction, maintenance and academic or research activities.  Some examples of RCS-containing material uses include:

  • Installing or replacing indoor or outdoor concrete, brick, stone, terrazzo or ceramic tile (cutting, drilling, jackhammering, grinding, milling)
  • Installing, replacing and finishing wallboard (drywall) or similar materials
  • Geological research involving use of fine sand or other RCS-containing materials
  • Material or structural testing of concrete
  • Multi-material 3D printing composite-making
  • Academic foundry mold-making or related activity
  • Clay and ceramic pottery-making

This program is primarily based upon OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica standards applicable to General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1053), and Construction (29 CFR 1926.1153), as pertinent to Penn State operations.