Precious gems that go in jewelry have to be harder than a 7 on the Mohs scale due to quartz being the hardest airborne mineral and would scratch them, so does that mean we breathe in quartz on the daily and our lungs don’t mind?

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Precious gems that go in jewelry have to be harder than a 7 on the Mohs scale due to quartz being the hardest airborne mineral and would scratch them, so does that mean we breathe in quartz on the daily and our lungs don’t mind?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Quartz is made of silica, and crystalline silica [is really bad for people to breathe](https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/crystalline-silica) _if breathed in high enough amounts_ (that means high concentrations and for a long time each shift, specifically) . You’re unlikely to encounter truly dangerous amounts of airborne crystalline silica outside of an industrial setting, and even then the hazards are known and understood. Any legitimate place that uses crystalline-silica containing materials will have protection mechanisms for their workers.

To sum up: crystalline silica is bad for you, and your lungs certainly _do_ mind, but it’s likely not a big deal.

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