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E-M:/ Federal report...silicosis and Michigan
- Subject: E-M:/ Federal report...silicosis and Michigan
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 16:50:38 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 08:40:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Gary Greenberg, MD" <email@example.com>
To: OccEnvMed <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Safety <email@example.com>
Subject: OEM: NIOSH: SENSOR report on Silica Surveillance
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
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
This page was last updated: April 17, 1997
Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH Duke Occupational & Environmental Medicine
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