The official blog of the Lung Institute.

How Do You Prevent Silicosis?

8 Aug 2017
| Under Disease Education, Lung Disease, Pneumoconiosis | Posted by
Lung Graphic

Silicosis is a form of pneumoconiosis, which is an occupational lung disease developed by breathing in particles of mineral dust. Silicosis is specifically caused by the inhalation of silica, a mineral present in mineral ores and rock such as quartz. Silica is most often found in granite, clays, concrete, sandstone, sand, slate and other forms of ore. Workers that are regularly exposed to silica and are therefore more susceptible to developing silicosis include miners and construction workers that participate in sandblasting, demolition, rock drilling, concrete drilling and other jobs dealing directly with mineral ores and rock. In addition, foundry workers, silica millers, quarry workers and those working in the production of pottery, ceramics or glass are also at an increased risk for developing silicosis.

When a person develops silicosis, the inhaled irritant causes inflammation, eventually resulting in the development of scar tissue in the lungs. Because the process of the inflammation transforming into scar tissue can take quite a while, someone who has been exposed to silica may not develop the disease for months or even years after inhaling the mineral. However, once the scar tissue has developed, it is irreversible and can cause the lungs to harden. Hardening of the lungs creates interference with the lungs’ normal exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, which can put the person at a higher risk for respiratory failure, pulmonary tuberculosis and heart failure.

There are many actions a worker can take to prevent the development of silicosis. Some of these actions include:

  • Wearing personal protective equipment, such as a respirator, when working with or near materials that may contain silica
  • Washing the hands and face immediately after working with or near crystalline silica dust, and before eating or drinking
  • Using available water sprays and ventilation systems when working in confined areas
  • Changing into clean clothes before entering your car or home after exposure to silica

While there is currently no cure for silicosis, there are many treatment options available to manage the condition and improve an affected person’s quality of life. The Lung Institute offers a revolutionary approach to the treatment of interstitial lung diseases such as silicosis: cellular therapy. Our procedures are safe and minimally invasive and are geared toward not only alleviating the symptoms of silicosis, but also at potentially slowing the overall progression of the disease and relieving lung inflammation.

To learn more about the cellular therapy we offer as an alternative treatment for silicosis, call the caring Lung Institute team today at 888-745-6697.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.