NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
World Health 1992 Nov; :22-23
The prevalence of silicosis among the world's workforce was discussed, and the actions which should be taken to prevent silicosis were presented. The cause, breathing fine particles of crystalline silica (14808607) which then become trapped in the lungs, making breathing difficult, has been known for centuries. There is no known cure and the only know treatment is a lung transplant, which is very expensive and high risk. Limitations in reporting systems and data collection made it impossible to know for certain how many workers have been victims of this preventable disease. Workers involved in mining, quarrying, stone cutting, construction, production of glass, ceramics, foundry molds, farming, dry wall finishers, pharmaceutical employees, and tobacco product manufacturing workers are all at risk of silicosis. NIOSH recommends that all forms of silica exposure be reduced to a concentration below 50 micrograms per cubic meter as a time weighted average for a 10 hour workday and a 40 hour working week. Good work practices must be followed along with better management and worker training programs. Materials used must be labeled correctly.
NIOSH-Author; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-function; Silica-dusts; Occupational-exposure; Mineral-dusts; Airborne-dusts; Dust-inhalation; Mining-industry; Construction-workers
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division