Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Fourth Edition. JM Stellman, ed., Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Office, 1998 Oct; :10.43-10.46, 10.91-10.97
Silicosis is a fibrotic disease of the lungs caused by the inhalation, retention and pulmonary reaction to crystalline silica. Despite knowledge of the cause of the disorder--respiratory exposures to silica containing dusts--this serious and potentially fatal occupational lung disease remains prevalent throughout the world. Silica, or silicon dioxide, is the predominant component of the earth's crust. Occupational exposure to silica particles of respirable size (aerodynamic diameter of 0.5 to 5 micrometers) is associated with mining, quarrying, drilling, tunnelling and abrasive blasting with quartz containing material (sandblasting). Silica exposure also poses a hazard to stonecutters, and pottery, foundry, ground silica and refractory workers. Because crystalline silica exposure is so widespread and silica sand is an inexpensive and versatile component of many manufacturing processes, millions of workers throughout the world are at risk of the disease. The true prevalence of the disease is unknown.
Disease-prevention; Epidemiology; Occupational-hazards; Silica-dusts; Silicosis; Mining-industry; Lung-diseases
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Morgantown, WV 26505
14464-46-1; 14808-60-7; 15468-32-3
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Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Fourth Edition