Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Publication of NIOSH Alerts: Requests for Assistance in Preventing Silicosis and Deaths from Silicosis

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) periodically issues alerts on workplace hazards that have caused death, serious injury, or illness to workers. Two such alerts were recently released and are available to the public *: Request for Assistance in Preventing Silicosis and Deaths from Sandblasting (1) and Request for Assistance in Preventing Silicosis and Deaths in Rock Drillers (2).

Silicosis and Deaths from Sandblasting

This alert describes 99 cases of silicosis -- a serious and potentially fatal respiratory disease characterized by fibrotic nodules and scarring in the lungs -- from exposure to crystalline silica during sandblasting. Of these 99 workers, 14 have died from the disease. This alert provides recommendations to reduce crystalline silica exposures in the workplace and to prevent silicosis and silicosis-related deaths.

This publication also informs sandblasters and their coworkers and employers about the respiratory hazards associated with sandblasting. More than 1 million U.S. workers are estimated to be at risk for developing silicosis. More than 100,000 workers at risk are employed as sandblasters. Approximately 59,000 of the 1 million workers exposed to crystalline silica will eventually develop silicosis.

Request for Assistance in Preventing Silicosis and Deaths in Rock Drillers

This alert describes 23 workers who developed silicosis from exposure to crystalline silica during rock drilling. Two of these workers have died from the disease. This report reviews exposure limits for crystalline silica at surface and underground mines and provides recommendations to reduce crystalline silica exposures in the workplace and to prevent silicosis and silicosis-related deaths.

Exposure to crystalline silica during rock drilling can cause silicosis. Silicosis has been recognized in rock drillers employed in caisson construction, metal mining, slate quarries, tunnel construction, highway and dam construction, rock quarries, and underground coal mines (e.g., roof bolters). In addition, surface coal mine drilling presents a serious respiratory hazard to drillers and driller helpers; most of the recent case reports on silicosis in rock drillers involve surface coal mine drillers.

References

  1. NIOSH. NIOSH alert: request for assistance in preventing silicosis and deaths from sandblasting. Cincinnati: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, NIOSH, 1992; DHHS publication no. (NIOSH)92-102.

  2. NIOSH. NIOSH alert: request for assistance in preventing silicosis and deaths in rock drillers. Cincinnati: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, CDC, NIOSH, 1992; DHHS publication no. (NIOSH)92-107.

    • Single copies of these documents are available without charge from the Information Dissemination Section, Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226; telephone (513) 533-8287 (1:00-4:30 p.m., Eastern time); fax (513) 533-8573.



Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.


All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #