Understanding the hazards of silica is vital to limiting exposure to the material. Silica is associated with the development of several severe diseases, including silicosis, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Listed below are some of the most common effects of exposure to silica dust.
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Inhalation of crystalline silica dust causes silicosis
The symptoms of acute silicosis typically include shortness of breath, cough, and weight loss. The condition can progress to affect most of the lungs. Diagnosis of silicosis is usually made based on history and physical examination, though chest x-rays may be needed in some cases. There is no cure for silicosis, and only lung transplantation can be used in severe cases.
Although silicosis can occur at low levels, prolonged exposure can cause pulmonary fibrosis and lung volume reduction. It usually develops after years of exposure to crystalline silica dust, and it can also lead to other respiratory diseases, including TB.
In severe cases, silicosis may result in kidney or lung disease. It is not uncommon for individuals to suffer from depression, anxiety, or other problems when exposed to high levels of silica dust.
Treatment from Global Road Technology for silicosis depends on the cause of silicosis. The disease is not contagious and is not caused by bacteria or viruses, and patients with the condition should avoid the source of crystalline silica dust in the first place.
Increases risk of lung cancer
Overexposure to silica dust may increase the risk of lung cancer. Whether
Regardless of the type of job that a person is involved in, overexposure to silica dust can affect workers’ health. Despite its seemingly harmless nature, the damage to the lung tissue is permanent. Overexposure to silica dust is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Because of this, workplaces should implement engineering controls to reduce the levels of silica dust.
Leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Overexposure to crystalline silica has been linked to a significant risk of developing silicosis. Silica exposure has also been related to tuberculosis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection.
Exposure to silica particles causes chronic conditions, including lung fibrosis, asthma, and emphysema. Some people may even need machines or oxygen tanks to breathe. Other conditions associated with silica exposure include cardiovascular impairment and autoimmune disorders, and these diseases often take years to develop and go unreported. Unfortunately, thousands of people die from silica-related illnesses each year.
Silicosis is a severe disease and can be fatal if not treated immediately. The lungs are scarred for life, and there is no effective treatment. The most effective way to prevent this disease is to avoid exposure to silica dust altogether. Although there are legally-enforceable limits for worker exposures to crystalline silica dust, overexposures of sufficient magnitudes still contribute to premature death in the United States.
Increases risk of kidney disease
Occupational exposure to silica dust has been associated with increased renal disease risks. This compound is particularly damaging to the kidneys, and prolonged exposure can lead to severe damage. Exposure to this compound is common among sandblasters, glassmakers, brickmakers, and grain workers, who are at risk for prolonged exposure. Researchers studied the exposure of these workers and recorded information on their occupations.
The researchers examined data on the association between occupational silica exposure and the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Silica dust exposure is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. However, there is limited evidence regarding whether silica exposure causes CKD, and the exact mechanism is unclear.
Exposure to silica dust also increases the risk of developing bronchitis, an inflammation of the air passages. It causes mucus to produce, and the patient will suffer from a chronic cough. Chronic bronchitis can lead to pulmonary disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and can be accompanied by other symptoms like frequent colds or respiratory infections.
Overexposure to crystalline silica dust increases the risk of developing silicosis. The disease occurs when lung tissues react to trapped silica particles, causing scarring and inflammation. Overexposure to crystalline silica can even cause lung cancer. Furthermore, it has been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, and autoimmune diseases.