Q. Can sanded grout exposure cause some serious effects?

Answered by
Dr. Prabhu Prasad N.c
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jan 02, 2019

Hello doctor,

The query is about sanded grout exposure. I am quite concerned about my girlfriend’s exposure to silica dust. We were doing a home renovation. I left for about 1.5 hours while she was removing tile in a kitchen. When I had come back I saw she was removing grout with a grinder and no dust mask. The room was filled with dust in the air. The room is about 10x9 with 12” tiles. This makes for a total cut distance of 1100” with the grinder. Assuming a 1/8” cut with a depth of 3/8” and this works out to 51.56 cubic inches of dust released into the air. Assuming an average of 25 % silica content in the grout and weight of 38 g per cu inch for the dust, that is about 490 grams of silica dust releases into the air. The room was open to adjacent rooms so I estimated about 90 cubic meter space, wich would work out to 5.4 g/m^3. She was doing this for about an hour and a half so I estimate about 1 m^3 was inhaled. From what I have read this is really high-level exposure.

Is my math wrong? Did I miss something? I am making her go to the doctor and we will monitor her health closely. I am really concerned this could lead to serious problems in the near future.

Dr. Prabhu Prasad N.c

Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Looking at the history, it is quite a high-level exposure and it can cause some kind of pneumonitis feature called hypersensitivity pneumonitis or toxic dust syndrome. If she develops symptoms of a cough, breathlessness, better to get a CT thorax to see her lungs and if possible lung function tests also. Kindly get back if you need more information.

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