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Preventing Silicosis and Deaths in Construction Workers

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 96-112
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Exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust during construction activities can cause serious or fatal respiratory disease.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing silicosis and deaths in construction workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica. Construction workers, coworkers, managers, and equipment manufacturers urgently need information about the hazards of breathing respirable crystalline silica. Your assistance in this effort will help prevent silicosis-related death and disease, a national goal for health promotion and disease prevention stated in Healthy People 2000 [PHS 1990].

This Alert describes six case reports of construction workers who have died or are suffering from silicosis. In addition, the Alert cites examples of five construction operations that used poor dust controls and two operations that used good dust controls.

NIOSH requests that editors of trade journals, safety and health officials, labor unions, owners, and employers bring the recommendations in this Alert to the attention of all workers who are at risk.

Preventing Silicosis and Deaths in Construction Workers