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E-M:/ Federal report...silicosis and Michigan



Return-Path: <occ-env-med-l-owner@dudley.mc.duke.edu>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 08:40:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Gary Greenberg, MD" <green011@acpub.duke.edu>
To: OccEnvMed <occ-env-med-l@list.mc.duke.edu>, Safety <safety@uvmvm.uvm.edu>
Subject: OEM: NIOSH: SENSOR report on Silica Surveillance
Sender: owner-occ-env-med-l@list.mc.duke.edu

SILICOSIS PREVENTION FURTHERED BY NIOSH PILOT PROGRAM AIDING 
IDENTIFICATION OF CASES IN SEVEN PARTICIPATING STATES

<ed: from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/silicos.html The report mentioned 
is apparently NOT available electronically, but I have requested it.- G>

Data collected under a pilot program funded by the National Institute 
for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have helped seven states 
develop focused, innovative methods to protect workers from silicosis, 
a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease.

The NIOSH-funded Sentinel Event Notification Systems for Occupational 
Risks (SENSOR) program-supported state-level data collection and 
analysis that identified 256 cases of silicosis in 1993 in Illinois, 
Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin, 
according to a recent report by NIOSH and the seven states. From 
details about primary industries and worker demographics associated 
with the highest numbers of cases, the seven states are able to 
identify worker populations at potential risk. 

"By knowing which workers may be vulnerable, occupational health 
professionals are able to intervene against job-related illnesses more 
effectively," said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H. 
"SENSOR's pilot findings point the way to steps that can be taken 
nationwide to strengthen the surveillance of silicosis and other 
serious occupational illnesses. They also provide a vital focus for 
decisive near-term protective efforts by these seven states who are 
our partners in SENSOR."

The report, "Surveillance for Silicosis, 1993 -- Illinois, Michigan, 
New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin," appeared in 
the Jan. 31, 1997, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC 
Surveillance Summaries, published by the Centers for Disease Control 
and Prevention (CDC). Part of CDC in the U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services, NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting 
research to prevent job-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

According to national estimates, approximately 250 people age 15 and 
above have died each year with silicosis, from 1985 through 1992. More 
than one million workers are estimated to be exposed to respirable 
silica on the job, and more than 100,000 of these encounter high-risk 
exposure through sandblasting, rock drilling, and mining. Silicosis is 
incurable but preventable.

According to the SENSOR report, these state efforts have used the 
silicosis data as a springboard:

     New Jersey prepared a special fact sheet promoting the use of 
     non-silica abrasive materials as alternatives to silica sand for 
     abrasive blasting. New Jersey, Michigan, and Ohio have 
     disseminated the fact sheet to more than 1,900 companies involved 
     in abrasive blasting. Sandblasting, which uses silica sand as an 
     abrasive material, has the potential to generate hazardous 
     respirable silica dust levels. Exposure to airborne silica dust 
     puts workers at risk of developing silicosis.

     North Carolina and Wisconsin are assessing exposure to respirable 
     silica during road construction and maintenance.

     Texas is surveying companies that manufacture stone and cut-stone 
     products to assess silica exposure in these workplaces, determine 
     the companies' medical screening procedures, and identify 
     opportunities for early identification and prevention of 
     silicosis.

     To facilitate silicosis surveillance by additional states, NIOSH 
     is spearheading efforts to standardize, across the participating 
     SENSOR silicosis states, information needed to describe 
     characteristics of workers who have been diagnosed with silicosis 
     and the primary workplaces associated with their exposure. In 
     addition, NIOSH is in the process of developing a computerized 
     program for collecting and reporting this information in a 
     standardized manner, so that data
     analyses across states can be performed more readily by NIOSH staff.

NIOSH began the SENSOR program in 1987 as a pilot program to more 
closely monitor the incidence of occupational illnesses in the U.S. 
Funding is provided through cooperative agreements between NIOSH and 
selected state and territorial health departments. The seven states 
that identify silicosis cases under SENSOR do so by soliciting case 
reports from physicians who are likely to evaluate patients with the 
disease. The states also compile data through various other means, 
such as reviewing death certificate data, assessing hospital discharge 
records, and surveying co-workers of persons who have been diagnosed 
with silicosis. The silicosis report was based on cases ascertained by 
the participating states from Jan. 1, 1993, to Dec. 31, 1993.

Copies of the report are available by calling toll-free 
1-800-35-NIOSH. For additional NIOSH information pertaining to 
silicosis prevention, contact the toll-free information number or 
visit the NIOSH site on the World Wide Web at 
http://www.cdc.gov.niosh/homepage.html.


This page was last updated: April 17, 1997

Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH     Duke Occupational & Environmental Medicine 
Sysop / Moderator Occ-Env-Med-L MailList            green011@mc.duke.edu


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