NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health effects of respirable crystalline silica: unanswered questions.
Med Lav 2002 Oct; 93(Suppl):S44
The association between occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica and silicosis has long been known. However, many questions remain about the pathogenesis, development, and risk of silicosis and other silica-related diseases. The United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a review of the health effects of occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. This review of a large body of literature found that crystalline silica is related to silicosis, lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, and airways diseases and may be related to the development of autoimmune disorders, chronic renal disease, and other adverse health effects. Many uncertainties exist regarding (1) mechanisms and influence of particle characteristics on disease, (2) pathogenicity and toxicity of less well-studied forms of crystalline silica, silica substitutes, and dust mixtures, (3) movement of particles from the lung to other organs; and (4) exposure-response relationships in experimental animals and worker cohorts. Opportunities exist for further toxicologic, epidemiologic, and other research that will supplement dust control measures and eliminate these preventable occupational diseases.
Silicates; Silicosis; Silica-dusts; Pulmonary-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Fibrogenicity; Lung-cells; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Lung-irritants; Epidemiology; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-system-disorders; Health-hazards; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-respiratory-disease; Exposure-limits
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
La Medicina del Lavoro. 3rd International Symposium on Silica, Silicosis, Cancer and Other Diseases, S. Margherita Ligure, 21-25 October 2002
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division