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PRODUCTION OF QUARTZ POWDERS WITH REDUCED CRYSTALLINE
SILICA TOXICITY – SILIFE

It is well established that Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) produces silicosis, an irreversible
and potentially lethal pathological disease. The International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) has classified RCS in the form of quartz and cristobalite from occupational sources as
carcinogenic for humans (category 1) and furthermore, SCR has been included in the Directive
(EU) 2017/2398 of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending directive 2004/37/EC (Noticia directiva y RD) on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at
work (NdP SILIFE Proyecto-cambios legislacion europea).
A previous project (SILICOAT FP7-SME-2011-285787) developed and implemented cost-
effective RCS-coating technologies based on stable covalent bonds of reactive quartz surface
sinalol groups to inhibit RCS toxicity. This technology, applied to traditional ceramic processes,
was found to be technically and economically feasible, when the reaction takes place in an
aqueous media. Toxicological results have evidenced that the treated powders exhibit much less
toxicity than the untreated quartzes.

The aim of the SILIFE project is producing, by means of a dry methodology, commercial quartz
powders that show very little or no RCS toxicity, with the following main goals:
– Pilot plant for quartz treatment
– Technical and economic feasibility
– Reduction of quartz toxicity
– Full product quality
The SILIFE project consortium consist of research centres as Univesitat Jaume I (UJI), Centro
Ceramico Bologna (CCB) and Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine
(ITEM); a technological platform as Plataforma Tecnológica Española de Seguridad Industrial
(PESI); end-user companies as ITACA, ESMALGLASS, ELASTOMERS, MAPEI and
FUMBARRI; a quartz provider as Bulk Cargo Logistics (BCL); and a coating agents provider as
ABCRLabs.

Visit here for more information on the project.