Silicosis is caused by crystalline silica
What is Silicosis
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral commonly found in sand, rock and quartz. Over time, exposure to silica particles causes scarring in the lungs, which can affect your breathing.
Individuals can be exposed to crystalline silica if they are chipping, cutting, drilling or grinding soil, sand, granite and other minerals. Any occupation that requires manipulating the earth’s crust can release crystalline silica into the air.
Occupations Related to Silicosis
- Mining (coal and hard rock)
- Sand Blasting
- Glass Manufacturing
- Steel Industry Work
- Stone Cutting
Types of Silicosis
There are three types of silicosis—acute, chronic and accelerated. Nearly two million U.S. workers remain exposed to occupational silica. Silicosis can develop within a few weeks or decades after initial exposure.
If you believe you have been exposed to silica and have a developed a cough, phlegm or breathing difficulties, we encourage you to speak with your doctor about silicosis.