I have to cut into a 4" thick basement slab at about 2-3 inches from the entire perimeter to remove and reset a drainage conduit system (Cactus Board) that was installed upside down ! I have heard on more than one occasion that silica dust is a dangerous carcinogen so I have ruled out jack hammering and dry cutting as options for the removal. I also am concerned that the amount of dust created by a dry cutting diamond blade would harm the electric motor and other moving parts of my HVAC system. Sheet rock dust is bad enough, but concrete dust is just as invidious. Am I correct in my assumptions?
I always take steps to protect my lungs when cutting concrete or stucco. I wear an asbestos grade mask. It's important to get one that fits and to shave. I've done all dry cutting. Even wet cutting can produce some dust.
If you can rent a wet cutter at reasonable cost, go for that. If you have to dry cut, turn off air conditioning and other things, until you have totally cleaned up. Sweep first and then use a cordless blower to get every little bit. Every home that I work in gets blown clean with a cordless blower.
You don't have to get silicosis for silica to damage your lungs. The fine particles can fill the little sacs in your lungs so that your lung capacity is effectively reduced and you absorb less oxygen. You could be taking nice deep breaths where your lungs fill and empty, but if you're only filling the larger sack, it's not the same as filling all the little portions that I meant to be filled. Miners who work at altitude are quick to experience this if they damage their lungs.
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