NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Recommended standards for occupational exposure to silica.
Lemen RA; Dunnom DD; Wagner WD; Mazzuckelli LF
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine. Goldsmith DF, Winn DM, Shy CM, eds. New York: Praeger, 1986 Jan; :505-509
The effects of silica, specifically quartz (14808607), dust on the lung were compared. There have been no reports of tumors or fibrotic lung disease from exposure to synthetic amorphous silicas. Many studies have been conducted in attempt to prove an association between exposure to quartz dust and the development of pulmonary cancer. Conclusive proof was still lacking because most of these studies were confounded by exposures to known or suspected human carcinogens. Many of these studies also suffer from lack of proper exposure data and smoking histories. Both animal and human studies have shown that massive pulmonary fibrosis does predispose to development of lung cancer, but the mechanism is not known. Since exposure to quartz dust does promote fibrotic lung disease, the authors recommend that the NIOSH silica dust exposure standard of 50 micrograms per cubic meter be adhered to. Even this level of exposure may pose a hazard if there is concurrent exposure to other carcinogens. The authors conclude that concurrent exposure to other carcinogens and cigarette smoking must be avoided in workers exposed to quartz dust.
Occupational-respiratory-disease; Silica-dusts; Quartz-dust; Respirable-dust; Epidemiology; Health-hazards; Occupational-hazards; Health-standards; Industrial-health-programs
Goldsmith DF; Winn DM; Shy CM
Silica, silicosis, and cancer: controversy in occupational medicine
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division