What would silica sand be used for in house construction? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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What would silica sand be used for in house construction?

Found a bag of silica sand in my garage left over from previous owners and donít know what they could have used it for. I originally thought it was a bag of cement and thought I could use it, but after reading the warning labels on it I realized that it is some bad stuff.

They tried to do a tile job that was a complete failure and Iím wondering if they used it to make grout or something, but I just don't know and now I want it gone.

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post #2 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 02:59 PM
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Pool filter?

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post #3 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Pool filter?
Really WOW! I didn't know that, well there isn't any pool here. I have to look into that because I do plan on having a pool someday. Thanks.

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post #4 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 04:46 PM
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Found a bag of silica sand in my garage left over from previous owners and donít know what they could have used it for. I originally thought it was a bag of cement and thought I could use it, but after reading the warning labels on it I realized that it is some bad stuff.



They tried to do a tile job that was a complete failure and Iím wondering if they used it to make grout or something, but I just don't know and now I want it gone.
Have you got a cat ??? You can use it for silica cat litter

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post #5 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Have you got a cat ??? You can use it for silica cat litter

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WOW No way would I ever use that. My cat sleep in my bed. Do you know that silica dust can cause silicosis, cancer and increases the risk of Tuberculosis infection. You have to wear a mask designed especialy for silica just to work with it it. Its right up there with Asbestos.

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3176.html
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post #6 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 06:26 PM
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WOW No way would I ever use that. My cat sleep in my bed. Do you know that silica dust can cause silicosis, cancer and increases the risk of Tuberculosis infection. You have to wear a mask designed especialy for silica just to work with it it. Its right up there with Asbestos.



https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3176.html
Oh really... I don't know .. I use sawdust for my cat.. if it is dangerous and toxic why are they selling it ??? I can find it everysupermarket in here...

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post #7 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Oh really... I don't know .. I use sawdust for my cat.. if it is dangerous and toxic why are they selling it ??? I can find it everysupermarket in here...

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I don't know unless they've figured out a way of encapsulating it. It hasn't become illegal like asbestos is and it is sold as sand, but with warnings allover the bag to use a mask. I'm just flabbergasted that its sold as cat litter. I bought some 30 years ago from HomeDepot to be used as a bed for a lead acid battery bank and the safety inspectors made me remove it like the lead acid wasn't enough.
I just don't know because they use it in cement mixes, but then its encapsulated in the concrete or mortar I guess.
You know they used to use asbestos in baby talcum powder before they found out it was dangerous.
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post #8 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 06:51 PM
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Silica when crushed into fine dust and inhaled can be dangerous. The earth is quite literally covered with with the stuff. If it isnít a fine dust and inhaled continuously it poses little danger.
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post #9 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 07:02 PM
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Really WOW! I didn't know that, well there isn't any pool here. I have to look into that because I do plan on having a pool someday. Thanks.
I have an above ground pool. Been in it four times in three years. IMO, waste of time to keep it clean, waste of money for chemicals and electricity.

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post #10 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have an above ground pool. Been in it four times in three years. IMO, waste of time to keep it clean, waste of money for chemicals and electricity.
I feel the same way, but It's 112įF outside here in AZ and I could actually use a dip in the pool right now.

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post #11 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 09:55 PM
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This can't possibly be a serious thread. If silica sand was "normally" harmful to humans, just about every beach in the entire world would be shut down.
Is silica potentially dangerous? YES
Can you get silicosis from silica sand? YES
If you eat enough of it can it be harmful? YES

The real danger in silica sand is usually from sand blasting or other rock crushing operations. When sandblasting, much care is taken especially in OSHA rules. The danger to the sandblasting personal is not just the sand as is, it is because the sand becomes powdered into a fine dust. Not only that, but the surface being blasted contains various forms of rust and the paint contaminants. The personal are normally well protected by suits and breathing apparatus. They also work in screened in areas to stop the drifting of the dust into the environment.

These dangers are mainly for people that are in constant exposure to sand blasting operations and are not protected. this problem can reach out into cement and concrete workers that are constantly exposed to it. It is nothing like asbestos exposure. If you dont like the sand lying around just cut open tha bag and spead it in your garden or around trees. I promise you, you will not die.
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post #12 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 10:33 PM
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Sleeper, Thanks for the "Like" and hope you now will sleep better.

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post #13 of 35 Old 08-21-2019, 11:15 PM
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https://www.selectsands.com/what-is-silica-sand/




Construction: Industrial sand is the primary structural component in a wide variety of building and construction products. Whole grain silica is put to use in flooring compounds, mortars, specialty cements, stucco, roofing shingles, skid resistant surfaces, and asphalt mixtures to provide packing density and flexural strength without adversely affecting the chemical properties of the binding system. Ground silica performs as a functional extender to add durability and anti-corrosion and weathering properties in epoxy-based compounds, sealants, and caulks.
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post #14 of 35 Old 08-22-2019, 01:33 AM
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Sand is used for setting and locking paving stones in place. A web search reveals that some people have used silica sand for their paving stones. Could that explain it?

(In case it matters, we used "polymeric sand" for the paving stones in our yard. It is a manufactured product that includes some kind of cement or other hardening agent, but I don't know much more than that.)
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post #15 of 35 Old 08-22-2019, 04:27 AM
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As has been mentioned, silica sand is about as hazardous as sawdust; not something you want in your lungs, but hardly nuclear waste. Most of the concerns you hear passed around about silica sand are generally hand in hand with the idea of using playground sand for sandblasting media, which is a handy way of aerosolizing the dust
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post #16 of 35 Old 08-22-2019, 07:50 AM
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Correct, fine particle dust is dangerous. People in dust bowl years suffered.
Our noses are designed to filter out coarse grains.
When cutting concrete slabs, I would always wear a mask. As well as wetting the work area.
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post #17 of 35 Old 08-22-2019, 08:17 AM
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Sleeper;
They tried to do a tile job that was a complete failure


I would go out on a limb here and think they bought the big box
of UNsanded grout. realizing they had the wrong grout, they went
back to the Box Store and the "tile technician" told them to just add
sand to the grout and it will be fine . . . . (just a W.A.G.)
or - any multitude of things that an inexperienced homeowner would do.

I have used silica sand by the ton - but always wore a respirator.
as mentioned above: it is not harmful unless the dust is inhaled into the lungs.
if you do not have a use for it, sprinkle it around your plants.
it will join the rest of Nature's natural elements and you can put your worries to rest.
you can also mix it with cement when setting fence posts.
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post #18 of 35 Old 08-23-2019, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Sleeper;
They tried to do a tile job that was a complete failure


I would go out on a limb here and think they bought the big box
of UNsanded grout. realizing they had the wrong grout, they went
back to the Box Store and the "tile technician" told them to just add
sand to the grout and it will be fine . . . . (just a W.A.G.)
or - any multitude of things that an inexperienced homeowner would do.

I have used silica sand by the ton - but always wore a respirator.
as mentioned above: it is not harmful unless the dust is inhaled into the lungs.
if you do not have a use for it, sprinkle it around your plants.
it will join the rest of Nature's natural elements and you can put your worries to rest.
you can also mix it with cement when setting fence posts.
I just saw all the warning on the bag and did a google search which scared me. I do have a use for it if it is used for sand blasting. I bought a shipping container that has a lot of rust around the hinges that's too hard to get with a wire brush and I do have a Harbor freight sand blaster.
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post #19 of 35 Old 08-23-2019, 04:46 AM
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Do in the open when any wind away from neighbours. Wear a dust mask and goggles/safety glasses.
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post #20 of 35 Old 08-23-2019, 05:36 AM
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I just saw all the warning on the bag and did a google search which scared me. I do have a use for it if it is used for sand blasting. I bought a shipping container that has a lot of rust around the hinges that's too hard to get with a wire brush and I do have a Harbor freight sand blaster.
Short answer, dont.

Less short answer, still dont, but if you do, breathing protection is a 100% must, as is a way to deal with the dust. Do it in a blasting cabinet, have an air filter running nearby to catch anything that escapes. Id recommend against doing it outside. Sure, not like silica sand doesnt already exist outside, and its airborn, but thats still no reason to make more of it airborn.

Better options abound for blasting, honestly. Proper blasting media works better, and is cheaper. If youve got a tractor supply nearby, if memory serves theyve got Black Diamond media for something like $10 for a 25lb bag
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