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Current trends silicosis: cluster in sandblasters - Texas, and occupational surveillance for silicosis.
Fleming-D; Maynard-D; McKinney-B; Perrotta-DM; Schulze-L; Pichette-J
MMWR 1990 Jun; 39(25):433-437
A cluster of silicosis cases was reported among sandblasters in Texas who had worked at a facility that sandblasted drilling pipes for oil fields. All were Hispanic males who were 24 to 50yr old when diagnosed. An investigation of all ten cases, including a review of the most recent chest X-rays and lung biopsy reports revealed that each worker had a history of occupational exposure to silica (14808607) and also had a chest X-ray indicative of pneumoconiosis. Lung biopsy reports for eight patients revealed the presence of silicotic nodules or silicotic alveolar proteinosis. The workers had been employed in sandblasting work for a mean of 8yr. The sandblasting operation involved passing a rod containing a 1 to 1 mixture of flint/garnet which contained 20.5% free silica through the drilling pipes under pressure. Personal air samples collected at the worksite contained respirable free silica levels ranging from 400 to 700 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3), well above the current OSHA standard of 100microg/m3. None of the workers wore supplied air respirators while sandblasting. They wore only disposable respirators. An editorial note discussed surveillance of silicosis among sandblasters.
NIOSH-Author; Respiratory-system-disorders; Silica-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Sand-blasting; Surveillance-programs; Industrial-hygiene; Epidemiology
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division