Diseases Caused by Silica
Silica and Scleroderma
|Inhaled Crystalline Silica
Many occupations and even some hobbies can create silica dust, which can then cause severe health problems and even death. Workers in these industries (or hobby enthusiasts) are advised to take all necessary safety precautions to prevent inhalation of crystalline silica. Sometimes the silica particles can be so tiny that they cannot even be seen in the air, thus sometimes causing people to lapse in wearing protection. The take-home message is that people in these industries should make every effort to avoid inhaling silica (whether or not it is noticeable in the air.)
Silica Exposure can occur to workers and bystanders in the following type of industries:
abrasives (manufacturing and use)
ceramics, clay, pottery
Source: National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. Read more…
Determining Silica Exposure Because silica is so abundant in our natural resources, it's possible that you use silica and don't even know it! There is potential for danger ONLY when crystalline silica particles are in the air. There may be materials that contain silica but if the operations on those materials do not generate dust, there is little chance of inhaling the silica. Likewise, there may be silica particles in the air even though you don't see any dust. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Deaths from Silica in the Workplace The first column is the occupational title. The second column (PMR) is the observed number of deaths from silicosis per occupation divided by the expected number of deaths. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
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