Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Silicosis’ Category

USA: 18 cases of silicosis, including 2 deaths, occurring in four states among mainly Hispanic stone fabrication workers who worked principally with engineered stone materials.

Rose C, Heinzerling A, Patel K, et al. Severe Silicosis in Engineered Stone Fabrication Workers — California, Colorado, Texas, and Washington, 2017–2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:813–818. DOI: icon


“Silicosis is an incurable occupational lung disease caused by inhaling particles of respirable crystalline silica. These particles trigger inflammation and fibrosis in the lungs, leading to progressive, irreversible, and potentially disabling disease. Silica exposure is also associated with increased risk for lung infection (notably, tuberculosis), lung cancer, emphysema, autoimmune diseases, and kidney disease (1). Because quartz, a type of crystalline silica, is commonly found in stone, workers who cut, polish, or grind stone materials can be exposed to silica dust…..”

The figure shows a visual abstract about silicosis in stone fabrication workers and offers information on how employers can protect their workers.


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