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Potential mechanisms of silica-induced cancer.
Silica and silica-induced lung diseases. Castranova V, Vallyathan V, Wallace WE, eds. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1995 Dec; :397-406
Occupational exposures to mineral dusts, including silica dusts, are particularly complex. The mineral mixture to which workers are exposed may differ according to geological source. Workers in different processes, such as mining, milling, production, and use, may be exposed to different mineral phases and components. Workers are exposed to additional agents in the occupational environment and in daily life. Therefore, a combinational effect of silica with other known carcinogens or suspected causative agents should be considered when silica-induced lung cancer is investigated. Other agents may potentiate the induction of lung cancer by silica, or may act as confounding factors. In most investigations conducted in an effort to assess the role of silica exposure in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, confounding factors, such as cigarette smoking and nonsiliceous environmental pollutants, have not been considered. It is important to determine the contribution of other factors to the incidence of lung cancer among silica-exposed workers. In addition to epidemiologic studies, animal experiments (for example, the intratracheal instillation of BaP in combination with silica results in a high incidence of lung tumors) and in vitro assays may be of great help in solving this problem. The combination and/or synergistic effect of the factors mentioned in this section should be considered with respect to the role of silica in the pathogenesis of bronchogenic carcinoma in humans.
Occupational-hazards; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Lung-disease; Lung-cancer; Respiratory-system-disorders; Silica-dusts; Respirable-dust; Synergism
Castranova-V; Vallyathan-V; Wallace-WE
Silica and silica-induced lung diseases
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division