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Silica exposure

By Anonymous December 7, 2015 - 4:05am
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Silica Exposure

I had a short 5 minute exposure to old sand-blast remains when entered a storage tank-4 days back. Dust was flying in the air (though not vigorously) - due to the ventilation fan. I feel chest congestion now. Please advise if there is any credible risk of serious damage??

Thanks, Raj

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Hello Raj,

Welcome to EmpowHER and thank you for coming to us for information regarding the risks associated with silica exposure.

For the benefit of all our readers, crystalline silica is an important industrial material found abundantly in the earth’s crust. It is a mineral that occurs in several forms. Quartz, the most common form, is a component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar.

Occupational exposure to crystalline silica often occurs as part of common workplace operations involving, such as in construction work.

These types of exposures can lead to the development of disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer.

Inhalation of respirable crystalline silica particles has long been known to cause silicosis, a disabling, non-reversible and sometimes fatal lung disease. Respirable crystalline silica also causes lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated crystalline silica as carcinogenic to humans, and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has concluded that respirable crystalline silica is known to be a human carcinogen. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has also recommended that respirable crystalline silica be considered a potential occupational carcinogen. In addition, exposure to respirable crystalline silica has been associated with other respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including bronchitis and emphysema), as well as kidney and immune system diseases.

Raj, it only takes a very small amount of airborne silica dust to create a health hazard. Please report your exposure to your employer and call your primary care physician today to report what has happened. Follow your physician's recommendation. Please keep us updated.


December 7, 2015 - 9:18am
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