Causes of Scleroderma: Silica Exposure

Diseases Caused by Silica
Silica Materials
Silica and Scleroderma
Occupational Exposure

Diseases Caused by Silica Exposure

Lupus and Silica
Scleroderma and Silica

Overview of Diseases Caused by Silica Exposure

Pills by Shelley EnszSilica exposure can cause autoimmune diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, and vasculitis. It can also cause silicosis, kidney disease, lung cancer, tuberculosis, and other airways diseases. Environmental exposure to silica can occur in workers and bystanders in many industries, including agriculture, construction, and potters.

Autoimmune Diseases and Silica

Study Looks at Possible Link Between Skin Exposure to Silica and Autoimmune Disorders. While the link between occupational exposure to silica and autoimmune disorders has been well-established, most studies have focused on inhalation exposure. This hypothesis is that "skin exposure to fine and ultrafine silica— probably crystalline silica— can result in a susceptible or predisposed individual developing an autoimmune disorder such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma." Occupational Hazards. 10/11/05.

Immunoglobulin and lymphocyte responses following silica exposure in New Zealand mixed mice. These studies begin to provide possible mechanisms for environmentally induced autoimmune diseases that have been reported in many epidemiological studies. PubMed, Inhal Toxicol. 2004 Mar;16(3):133-9.

Lupus and Silica

Silica accelerated systemic autoimmune disease in lupus-prone New Zealand mixed mice. Lungs of the silica-exposed mice had increased inflammatory infiltrates as well as fibrotic lesions characterized by excess collagen deposition. Silica exposure significantly exacerbated the course of disease. PubMed, Clin Exp Immunol 2003 Mar;131(3):415-21. (Also see Lupus)

Scleroderma and Silica

Causes of Scleroderma: Silica and Occupational Exposure. Occupational exposure to silica is a known cause of scleroderma. It is legally recognized as an occupational disease in many countries, including the United States. Scleroderma predominantly affects women. A striking finding is that when scleroderma occurs in men, it is often due to occupational exposure, such as to silica. ISN.

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United States

Silicosis and Silica

Silicosis and Silica. Significant exposure to airborne crystalline silica can cause tuberculosis, lung cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, silicosis, and scleroderma. Silicosis can cause a nodular type of lung fibrosis, tuberculosis, and kidney disorders. ISN.

Silicosis Symptoms

Vasculitis and Silica

Exposure to silica and risk of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Long-term silica exposure may be one of the exogenous factors contributing to ANCA production, however, silica exposure alone, without typical silicosis, was not associated with ANCA positivity. PubMed, Am J Ind Med. 2006 May 11. (Also see Vasculitis and Antibodies)

(Case Report) Silica exposure and systemic vasculitis. I present the case of a 63-year-old male who worked in DOE (Department of Energy) facilities for 30 years as a weapons testing technician. In addition to silica, other workplace exposures included beryllium, various solvents and heavy metals, depleted uranium, and ionizing radiation. The patient's diagnoses included microscopic polyangiitis, systemic necrotizing vasculitis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, and glomerulonephritis. PubMed, Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Dec;111(16):1933-8. (Also see Vasculitis)

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