Safety and measurement

Safety Data Sheets

A working group composed of industry experts within IMA-Europe has developed template Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in compliance with REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, CLP Regulation (EC) 1272/2008,  Regulation (EC) 453/2010 and Regulation (EU) 2015/830 for quartz and cristobalite.

There are different templates per product depending of the content in quartz/cristobalite (fine fraction).

The English templates for quartz and cristobalite are available here: quartz SDScristobalite SDS.
For other languages: contact us.

Measurement in workplace atmospheres

To measure dust exposure levels at the workplace, the following European standards provide the necessary technical guidance to implement a dust monitoring strategy:

EN 689: Workplace exposure – Measurement of exposure by inhalation to chemical agents – Strategy for testing compliance with occupational exposure limit values, 2018, CEN.

EN 1232: Workplace atmospheres-Pumps for personal sampling of chemical agents-Requirements and test methods, 1997.

To determine the quartz/cristobalite content in the collected dust, two different analytical techniques can be used: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD).

Here are the reference standards for both techniques:

AFNOR- XP X 43-243 : Dosage par spectrométrie infra rouge à transformée de Fourier de la silice cristalline – Echantillonnage par dispositif à coupelle tournante ou sur membrane filtrante.

AFNOR XP X 43-295 : Détermination par rayons X de la concentration de dépôt alvéolaire de silice cristalline- Echantillonnage par dispositif à coupelle rotative.

MDHS 101:  Crystalline silica in respirable airborne dusts- Direct-on-filter analyses by infrared spectroscopy and X Ray diffraction.

NIOSH 7602: Silica, crystalline by IR.

NIOSH 7500: Silica, crystalline by XRD.

Industry dust monitoring protocols:

A dust monitoring protocol is provided in Annex 2 of the Social Dialogue Agreement on Workers’ Health Protection through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it, see It summarises the general requirements from the European Standards EN 689 and EN 1232 mentioned above.

IMA-Europe has developed its own Dust Monitoring Protocol with a view to collect representative and comparable dust exposure data at the level of the industrial minerals sector across Europe. The statistical reliability of the data collected means that it will also be valuable for future epidemiological studies.

The dust monitoring programme was launched in 2000, more than 30 industrial mineral companies have been collecting exposure data following the common protocol since then. See here for more information.

Measurement in bulk materials

A method has been developed in the industrial minerals industry for the purpose of determining the “size weighted fine fraction” (SWFF) within the bulk material. It has been used in the industry and by institutes previously under the acronym SWeRF. The method only measures the fraction of the substance (e.g. fine dust or fine crystalline silica) present in the material. The method is standardised through CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation). The method does not by itself estimate levels of occupational exposure to hazardous substances and it is not a substitute for workplace measurements.

This method describes two procedures which can be used to estimate the size weighted fine fraction in bulk materials. The method can be used for comparing the fine fraction in different bulk samples. This standard uses the term fine fraction to indicate that it does not analyse airborne particles, but it evaluates the proportion of particles in a bulk material that, based on their particle size, have a potential to be respirable if they were to become airborne.

It also allows for the size weighted fine fraction of crystalline silica particles in bulk materials to be evaluated in terms of weight percent if the fraction separated is subsequently analysed by a suitable method.

The references of the standard are the following: Characterisation of bulk materials — Determination of a size-weighted fine fraction and crystalline silica content : EN 17289-1, EN 17289-2, EN 17289-3, available for purchase from the national standardisation bodies.

For more information and documentation on the method, please contact us.

Downloads and resources

Hazard elements of Specific Target Organ Toxicity Repeated Exposure

List of SWeRF labs

SWeRF calculation sheet PDF

SWeRF calculation sheet XLS

Article on SWeRF in Ann. Occup. Hyg. (2014)

IDPA Safe Handling Guide

OEL TABLE (2024)

Silicosis Statistics: Germany, France, UK