Reviewed by E Brigitte Gottschall, MD

Silica is a component of the earth’s crust and contained in rock, sand, and soil. People who are engaged in sandblasting, mining, construction or other activities that lead to crystalline silica particles becoming airborne are at risk of developing silica related lung disease. When silica dust particles are inhaled they can get trapped in the lung and start an inflammatory reaction that may results in the formation of nodules and scars. These changes in the lung can eventually lead to loss of lung function. There are different lung diseases that can result from inhalation of silica including simple silicosis, complicated silicosis or progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), accelerated silicosis and acute silicosis or silicoproteinosis.

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