Silica dust exposure was linked to higher risks of death from all causes.

Long-term exposure to silica dust puts industrial workers at a substantially higher risk of death from all causes than workers who have not been exposed, researchers say.

And the risk of death from lung and cardiovascular disease increases with increasing exposure.

Researchers in China examined 74,040 workers at different metal mines and pottery factories between 1960 and 1974, and followed up until the end of 2003.

Their results showed that death from all causes was much higher among workers who have been exposed to silica dust compared to workers who were not.

The more exposure they had, the bigger the risk of death from all causes, including respiratory diseases, respiratory tuberculosis and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers estimated that in 2008, 4.2% of deaths among industrial workers in China could be linked to silica dust exposure.

The findings add persuasive power to calls for improved occupational safety standards for workers exposed to silica dust, not only in China, but in all parts around the world.

The findings were published in PLoS Medicine.

Source: Public Library of Science

Protect workers by controlling dust

Even at or just below acceptable levels of silica dust, exposure may affect workers’ health and well-being.

Personal protective equipment, training and air cleaning can help protect workers from excessive dust exposure.

Electrocorp offers portable, ceiling-mountable and highly versatile air cleaners for industrial and commercial applications that can remove dust and particles from the air.

These include units recommended for wood shops and similar dust-heavy working environments that feature the best HEPA filters, easily cleanable bag filters and the most effective particle filters for any situation.

Many Electrocorp air cleaners can also easily be turned from particle to chemical filtration if the need arises.

For more information, please contact Electrocorp.

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