Silicosis is a respiratory disease of the lungs that develops directly out of
prolonged and extensive exposure to airborne crystalline silica. This work-related
disease can be disabling and, in certain cases, even fatal. Victims of silicosis
typically work in jobs with high levels of silica-exposure, such as construction,
sand blasting, and mining. Lungs will react to the silica by developing scarring
around the silica which leads to difficulty breathing. The most common form of
silicosis might not be detected for ten to 35 years after a worker's initial exposure.
Some telltale signs of silica exposure are shortness of breath, fatigue, chest
pain, severe cough, and flu-like symptoms.
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