ILO Home
Go to the home page
Site map | Contact us Franšais | Espa˝ol

CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)104997
CIS number 06-394
ISSN - Serial title 0271-3586 - American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Year 2005
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Steenland K.
Title One agent, many diseases: Exposure-response data and comparative risks of different outcomes following silica exposure
Bibliographic information July 2005, Vol.48, No.1, p.16-23. Illus. 40 ref.
Abstract Evidence in recent years indicates that silica causes lung cancer and renal disease in addition to its well-known relationship to silicosis. The available exposure-response data for silica and silicosis, lung cancer and renal disease were reviewed. The risks of death or disease incidence by age 75 were compared for these three diseases, subsequent to 45 years of exposure to silica at the current exposure limit of 0.1mg/m3 respirable crystalline silica. The absolute risk of silicosis ranged from 47% to 77%. The absolute risk of death from silicosis was estimated at 1.9%. The excess risk of lung cancer death, assuming US male background rates, was 1.7%. The excess risk of end-stage renal disease was 5.1%, and the excess risk of death from renal disease was estimated to be 1.8%. Given that the usual OSHA acceptable excess risk of serious disease or death for workers is 0.1%, it is clear that the current limit is far from sufficiently protective of workers' health. Kidney disease emerges as a higher risk than either mortality from silicosis or lung cancer, although the data are based on fewer studies.
Descriptors (primary) silica; silicosis; lung cancer; renal diseases
Descriptors (secondary) literature survey; threshold limit values; USA; frequency rates; mortality; dose-response relationship; morbidity
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceUSA
Subject(s) Occupational pathology
Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Browse category(ies) Diseases of the kidney and the urinary system
Diseases of the respiratory system (except for pneumoconiosis & similar)