silicosis (sĭlĭkōˈsĭs), occupational disease of the lungs caused by inhalation of free silica (quartz) dust over a prolonged period of time. Free silica is dispersed in the air and inhaled by workers engaged in the mining of lead, hard coal, and gold, in cutting sandstone and granite, in sandblasting, and in the manufacture of silica abrasives. The irritative action of the silica in the lung results in the formation of nodular lesions; these may coalesce and form massive areas of fibrous tissue. In advanced cases patients experience difficult breathing, coughing with sputum, chest pain, and a tendency to develop tuberculosis or repeated attacks of pneumonia. Once fibrosis has developed there is no cure, and treatment is directed at the management of symptoms. Preventive measures adopted in industries where the hazard of silicosis exists have greatly reduced its incidence.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
an occupational disease caused by the prolonged inhalation of dust containing free silicon dioxide. Silicosis is observed among workers in mining, metallurgical, and machine-building industries. It also affects workers producing porcelain and glazed pottery. Silicosis is the most destructive form of pneumoconiosis. More frequently than other diseases of this group, silicosis is accompanied by a tubercular process (silico-tuberculosis) and other complications. [23–1078–]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Pneumoconiosis due to the inhalation of silica (SiO2) particles.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pathol a form of pneumoconiosis caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica, quartz, or slate, and characterized by shortness of breath and fibrotic changes in the tissues of the lungs
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005