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What Is Silicosis?
Silicosis is lung damage caused by breathing dust containing extremely fine particles of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is found in concrete, masonry and rock.
Workers and Sandblasters in the sandblasting industry, who remove paint and rust from buildings, bridges, tanks and other surfaces, are at risk, as are people who clean foundry castings, mine through rock, crush stone and etch or frost glass. Construction workers who may been exposed to dangerous levels of crystalline silica can also be at risk.
What are the risks?
Once inhaled, crystalline silica, can lead to one of three types of silicosis: chronic, accelerated or acute. The disease can also cause bronchitis and tuberculosis. Some scientists believe it may also cause lung cancer. At least 300 people die each year because of silicosis. More than 2 million workers are exposed to silica dust on the job and about 10% of them are at a high risk of developing silicosis.
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