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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Feb 13;64(5):117-20.

Silicosis mortality trends and new exposures to respirable crystalline silica - United States, 2001-2010.

Abstract

Silicosis is a preventable occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica dust and can progress to respiratory failure and death. No effective specific treatment for silicosis is available; patients are provided supportive care, and some patients may be considered for lung transplantation. Chronic silicosis can develop or progress even after occupational exposure has ceased. The number of deaths from silicosis declined from 1,065 in 1968 to 165 in 2004. Hazardous occupational exposures to silica dust have long been known to occur in a variety of industrial operations, including mining, quarrying, sandblasting, rock drilling, road construction, pottery making, stone masonry, and tunneling operations. Recently, hazardous silica exposures have been newly documented during hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells and during fabrication and installation of engineered stone countertops. To describe temporal trends in silicosis mortality in the United States, CDC analyzed annual multiple cause-of-death data for 2001-2010 for decedents aged ≥15 years. During 2001-2010, a total of 1,437 decedents had silicosis coded as an underlying or contributing cause of death. The annual number of silicosis deaths declined from 164 (death rate† = 0.74 per 1 million population) in 2001 to 101 (0.39 per 1 million) in 2010 (p = 0.002). Because of new operations and tasks placing workers at risk for silicosis, efforts to limit workplace exposure to crystalline silica need to be maintained.

PMID:
25674992
PMCID:
PMC4584686
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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