Fosroc ANZ is proud to confirm we have significantly reduced the levels of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) from all concrete repair and grout products to enable them to be classified as ‘RCS hazard free’. This includes our Renderoc, Patchroc, Conbextra and Construction Grout ranges. Being classified as 'RCS hazard free' means our products contain less than 0.1% respirable crystalline silica and are therefore non-hazardous in accordance with the Australian Inventory of Industrial Chemicals.
Despite being proud to offer a safer product range, Fosroc ANZ continues to stress the importance of ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with cementitious powders.
Do concrete mortars and grouts contain respirable crystalline silica (RCS)?
Yes, silica is still present in several cementitious mortars and grouts sold in Australia and New Zealand.
In the case of concrete and grout products that do contain RCS, the silica dust can be released into the air during the mixing of dry powders with water. These particles can lodge deep in the lungs and lead to respiratory diseases, including silicosis, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
By using Fosroc mortars and grouts, you will not be exposed to hazardous levels of RCS when mixing the powder with water.
It is always critical to wear the recommended PPE and follow ventilation guidelines when working with cementitious products.
To give some context, concrete products with RCS generally have much lower quantities than engineered stone. Concrete products can contain up to 30% RCS compared to engineered stone products, which can be as high as 92% RCS (Guidance note: Managing silica dust at construction sites, Worksafe ACT).
How do I know if a product contains RCS?
As a leading manufacturer of concrete repair mortars, Fosroc ANZ committed to reducing levels of respirable crystalline silica below the hazardous threshold from its product range. You can see our full list of products classified as RCS hazard free here.
With less than 0.1% RCS, Fosroc ANZ's Renderoc, Patchroc, Paveroc, Conbextra and Construction Grout products are all classified as respirable crystalline silica (RCS) hazard free.
When purchasing and using concrete mortars and grouts, Fosroc recommends checking the SDS and product packaging to confirm RCS content. Products sold in Australia that contain respirable crystalline silica in quantities >0.1% are required by law to include the statement ‘H350 May cause cancer’ statement on the SDS and packaging.
Unfortunately, products manufactured overseas might not include this warning. Check with your Fosroc ANZ Sales Representative for more information.
How can workers be protected from silica dust?
According to workplace exposure standards set out by Safe Work Australia, workers must not be exposed to levels of silica dust greater than 0.05 mg/m3 over an eight-hour working day, for a five-day working week. Each state and territory is responsible for enforcing this work health and safety law in its jurisdiction.
Safe Work Australia outlines control measures to protect workers from exposure to silica dust, including substituting products with a less hazardous alternative. Ventilation and personal protective equipment (PPE) are also named as critical safety measures.
Do I need to wear PPE when using Fosroc mortars and grouts?
Yes. While Fosroc's concrete mortars and grouts are classified as RCS hazard free, we always recommend safety precautions to avoid inhaling dust. While mixing cementitious powders, always wear a dust mask and work in well ventilated areas. Safety directions and PPE requirements are outlined on the SDS for every Fosroc ANZ product.
Renderoc FC completes Fosroc transition
Following the launch of our reformulated fairing mortar Renderoc FC last year, our concrete repair and grouting products are now all classified as RCS hazard free.
"Fosroc invested in significant research and development to reduce the level of RCS in our concrete and grouting products – without compromising product performance," explains Vin Brereton, Fosroc ANZ General Manager. "In saying that, we have always advocated for wearing the correct PPE and this is inherent in our safety documentation and recommendations."
Find out more
- Download our RCS Hazard Free product list.
- Download our Concrete Repair Solutions brochure or Fosroc Grouting Solutions brochure.
- Read Safe Work Australia's crystalline silica and silicosis information for employers and workers.