July 23 2019 12:00 AM

The educational program is intended to reduce the incidence of silicosis among masonry workers.

iQ Power Tools, Perris, California, will be partnering with the American Lung Association to raise awareness of the dangers inhaling silica dust through a new educational initiative, “Understanding Silicosis.”

Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, which is part sand, rock and mineral ores such as quartz. It often affects workers such as masons, stone/tile contractors, miners, glass manufacturer workers and others who are exposed to silica dust on the jobsite. Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, harming one’s ability to breathe.

“With over two million U.S. workers potentially exposed to occupational silica, more is needed to be done to bring awareness to the risk of developing silicosis,” stated Paul Guth, president of iQ Power Tools. “By teaming up with the American Lung Association, a highly respected organization, we can expand our reach and take the message of awareness to individual workers in the construction industry even further than before.”

As part of “Understanding Silicosis,” a video will be created featuring a healthcare provider discussing silicosis. It will include a variety of related topics such as risk factors, causes, prevention, symptoms and treatments.

The new partnership with the ALA features two key components:

1. Creation of an educational video and individual video clips highlighting the danger of silicosis for those in the construction industry, to be shared on social media and the ALA website, www.lung.org.

2. Activation of a companywide Employee Giving Campaign to fully engage iQ Power Tools employees in the mission of the ALA to further demonstrate the commitment of its employees to lung health.

“With hundreds of silica-related deaths per year, our company decided it was time to ‘up our game’ in education and awareness,” added Sarah Hurtado, iQ’s marketing manager. “This is the beginning of what we hope will be a long term partnership to develop, deliver and promote tools and resources that actively engage people and construction workers in lung disease prevention and disease management. Together, all of us can help minimize lung disease caused by silica dust and by doing so, raise the quality of life for individual construction workers.”

Guth concluded, “This relationship is aimed at connecting technology, education, research and experts to develop impactful resources to improve overall awareness and the options available to create a safe work environment. We hope to develop even more strategic partnerships with several of the leading construction industry associations in the very near future.”

iQ Power Tools manufactures a comprehensive range of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems for the concrete, masonry, hardscape and tile sectors. The company was founded by third-generation masons Joel and Paul Guth, who have logged over 30 years each in the masonry industry.

Decades of experience taught them about dust problems; their company started out creating