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Silicosis
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Silicosis

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Contributors: Casey Silver BA, Mary Anne Morgan MD, Michael W. Winter MD
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Synopsis

Silicosis is an occupational lung disease characterized by a progressive worsening of lung function caused by inflammation and scarring in the lungs due to exposure to airborne crystalline silica. Crystalline silica (eg, quartz dust) is used as a blasting agent and frequently affects people working in mining, masonry, quarrying, stone cutting, construction, and glass or abrasives manufacturing.

Common findings include shortness of breath, cough, weight loss, fatigue, chest pain, and possible fever. Chronic silicosis occurs after small exposures over 10-30 years. Accelerated silicosis is similar to chronic silicosis, but symptoms appear before 10 years of exposure. Acute silicosis is rare and occurs after large exposures within a few years, and sometimes weeks.

The disease is very preventable with the use of appropriate workplace safety equipment. It is incredibly unlikely in patients without an overt environmental exposure.

Codes

ICD10CM:
J62.8 – Pneumoconiosis due to other dust containing silica

SNOMEDCT:
233760007 – Acute silicosis
233762004 – Chronic silicosis
805002 – Pneumoconiosis due to silica

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Last Reviewed: 04/18/2019
Last Updated: 04/18/2019
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Silicosis
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Silicosis (Acute (weeks to years postexposure)) : Cough, Pleuritic chest pain, Weight loss, Dyspnea
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