By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 8:55 am in Health & Safety.
Forget the gnarly, snarling neighborhood dog, the trench-coated stranger and various other things out to getcha. Now we have to beware of playground sandboxes too. If you’re refilling your backyard sandbox with sacks of sand from the hardware or landscape store, take a good look at the label. Much of that stuff comes from crushed quartz and contains crystalline silica dust, a carcinogen responsible for the fatal lung condition silicosis. How bad is it? The Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA require protective clothing and masks for workers who handle the stuff. “If it is not safe for a 200 pound construction worker to inhale CS dust,” says SafeSand.com founder Mona Lisa Wallace, “why should it be safe for preschoolers?” In California, sand with CS has to be labeled (see above). Outside California, it carries the warning “not labeled for sale in California.”