Silicosis is a preventable disease. The key to silicosis prevention is to prevent dust from being in the air. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires administrative or engineering controls be used whenever possible. A simple control may work. Example: A water hose to wet dust down at the point of generation. Always use the dust control
system and keep it in good maintenance. When sawing concrete or masonry use saws that provide water to the blade. During rock drilling use water through the drill stem to reduce the amount of dust in the air. Use dust collection systems which are available for many types of dust generating equipment. Use local exhaust ventilation to prevent dust from being released into the air. Use abrasives containing less than 1% crystalline silica during abrasive blasting Measure dust levels in the air. Respirators should only be used after dust controls are in place.
Respirators should not be the primary method of protection. If controls cannot keep dust levels below the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Level (REL) then respirators should be used. Select respirators that provide enough protection. Keeping respirators fit for use requires continuous maintenance. Coworkers of anyone diagnosed with silicosis should be examined for symptoms of the disease. The state health department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) must be notified whenever a diagnosis of silicosis is confirmed.
More information on silicosis
What is silicosis? - Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. What causes silicosis? - Silicosis is caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. Particles of silica dust get trapped in the tiny sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. What're the symptoms of silicosis? - Symptoms of silicosis include shortness of breath after exercising and a harsh, dry cough, chest pain, hoarseness, and loss of appetite. How is silicosis diagnosed? - Silicosis is diagnosed when someone who has worked with silica has a chest x-ray that shows the distinctive patterns of scarring and nodules. What is the treatment for silicosis? - There is no specific treatment for silicosis. Removal of the source of silica exposure is important to prevent further worsening of the disease. How to prevent silicosis? - Silicosis is a preventable disease. The key to silicosis prevention is to prevent dust from being in the air.
All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005