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Silica, Lung Cancer, and Respiratory Disease Quantitative Risk

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2011-120
cover of 2011-120

Although much literature existed about occupational respirable crystalline silica (rcs) exposure, there were few good-quality data sets appropriate for quantitatively evaluating the relationship between rcs exposure and disease. In 1996, IARC evaluated the carcinogenicity of respirable crystalline silica and concluded that inhaled quartz and cristobalite were carcinogenic in occupational settings. Their findings stirred much debate within the scientific community. Few quantitative risk assessments of rcs exposure and lung cancer had been published at that time. In the same year, the prevention and elimination of silicosis and silica-related diseases became priorities of NIOSH, OSHA, MSHA, and the American Lung Association.