Causes of Silicosis

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Causes

Silicosis is an occupational lung disease. It is caused by the inhalation of:
  • Tiny particles of silicon dioxide in the form of crystalline “free” silica (usually quartz)
  • Silicates, minerals containing silicon dioxide bound to other elements, such as talc (less common)
People at risk are:
  • Workers who move or blast rock and sand (miners, quarry workers, stonecutters)
  • Those who use silica-containing rock or sand abrasives (sand blasters; glass makers; foundry, gemstone, and ceramic workers; potters

Coal miners

Factors that increase the chances of acquiring silicosis are:
  • Duration and intensity of exposure
  • Form of silicon (risk is high in exposure to crystalline form)
  • Surface characteristics (risk is high in exposure to uncoated form)
  • Exposure immediately after fracturing dust poses greater risk than delayed exposure

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Hi Sincerely seeking some professional advice here. I have been exposed to an incident of inhaling silica dust for some 2 hours at a quartz, granite, marble polishing and grinding foundry [as I was tasked to select marble for our new office renovation]. The dust concentration in the enclosure is strong in my opinion (air is of a dusty white fog with strong smell of the stones). Now I noticed phelgm and mild coughing. Do I need an X-Ray examination for symptoms of silicosis? Also, since silica gets retained would anyone who inhaled silica dust, even if of a one off incident eventually develop symptoms of silicosis? Thank you

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