While a single exposure to silica dust is extremely rare, frequent exposures to this type of dust can lead to the development of silicosis. As exposure increases, the lung’s ability to protect itself diminishes. This disease is irreversible – the only way to cure silicosis is to undergo a lung transplant. The best way to prevent silicosis is to practice good work habits.
An occupational disease is one of the most common causes of death and illness in the construction industry, but it is no longer a recognized threat. Many workers working with silica-containing materials are at risk of contracting this disease, which can even lead to TB activation. Because of this, workers who work with silica must be extremely careful about their hygiene. If they fail to wash their hands properly, the particles they are exposed to will be carried back to other locations.
The best way to avoid silicosis is to wear a respirator. It is because silica dust can penetrate the respiratory system and reach the alveoli, essential exchange sites for oxygen. The particles of silica can cause damage to the lining of these sacs and may even lead to progressive massive fibrosis. When this happens, the lungs become stiff, and breathing becomes difficult.
Using a respirator protects against silicosis, an inflammation of the lungs caused by inhaling harmful dust and chemicals. In acute silicosis, the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid. The affected worker will suffer from severe shortness of breath, low blood oxygen levels, and other symptoms. They may even experience fever and weight loss.
Filter masks are the best way to protect against airborne particles and dust while working. These disposable respirators are effective and comfortable to wear. Filter masks come in various styles and sizes and have definite letters or numbers representing different types and environments. Each type offers different features and benefits. Consider which mask will best suit your needs and fit your budget. They are affordable and lightweight.
When selecting a filter mask, consider the size of the particles you’ll be able to filter. N95 masks typically filter particles at more than 95%. These masks are effective because they filter out tiny particles, such as a coronavirus (Covid-19), which is 100-120 nanometres. Other masks, such as disposable face masks, have lower filtration capacities and can not effectively protect you.
The particles of silicates are so small that they break down into smaller pieces. The flakes are about 20 microns and enter the deepest part of the lungs. They pass through mucous and the cilia cells of the bronchi and lungs and lodge in the alveoli. There, they cannot be removed by the lung’s defense mechanisms and fill up the alveoli with razor-sharp particles. The effect of this condition may not be felt for years.
Being aware of surroundings
While being aware of your surroundings may seem easy, it is not always possible. It’s common for you to come into contact with silicates daily. You may not be aware that you’re exposed to it, but even being aware of your surroundings can help you prevent silicosis. While dust, dirt, and rock sediment are all unavoidable factors preventing exposure to silicates, these substances are also easily transported through breathable air.
Another common cause of silicosis is exposure to crystalline silica dust, and this dust can cause serious or fatal respiratory ailments in many industries. While OSHA has defined a safe level of exposure, constant air quality monitoring is necessary to ensure it is not dangerous to workers. It is best to wear personal protective equipment to protect against fluctuating levels.
Practicing good work habits
To prevent 3 types of silicosis, practicing good work habits and reducing exposure to silica dust are essential. Those working with silica dust may have an increased risk of developing the disease and workers new to the trade. Medical exams and follow-up monitoring are recommended for workers with a history of exposure to silica dust. For those at higher risk of developing silicosis, proper training and medical examinations should also be done.
Despite these concerns, practice good personal hygiene and follow sanitary procedures. It will prevent the spread of contaminants to other areas. By practicing good personal hygiene, workers will also avoid the risk of exposing other people to silicosis. Practicing good work habits and using proper protective gear will help you stay healthy and avoid the development of silicosis. There is no cure for silicosis, but the symptoms are often mild.