What is Silicosis? California workers who cut countertops afflicted by incurable lung disease

What is Silicosis? (Image via snip from X/@PhmVng907169860)
What is Silicosis? (Image via snip from X/@PhmVng907169860)

Shocking news about Silicosis disease came to light on September 24, 2023, young workers in California who cut countertops are getting infected by this deadly lung disease, reported the Los Angeles Times. These workers are getting infected by this deadly disease because they get exposed to silica dust as they cut and grind the stones that are later used as countertops.

The JAMA network published a study by UCLA and UCSF physicians which found that approximately 20% of California workers have contracted Silicosis and died.


The study states that,

"In California, silicosis associated with occupational exposure to dust from engineered stone primarily occurred among young Latino immigrant men; many patients presented with severe disease, and some cases were fatal."

A rise in Silicosis here is all you need to know about

Silicosis is a lung disease that usually infects people who work in an environment where there is dust containing silica particles. Over a period of time, these particles start entering the lungs and block the breathing passage, reported WebMD.

It was further mentioned by WebMD that there are three types of Silicosis, one is acute, second is chronic and the third one is accelerated. People who are more prone to get infected are the ones who work in, mining, construction, glass manufacturing, road repair, and sound blasting, among other fields.


The symptoms of this disease include trouble breathing, cough, phlegm, chest pain, fatigue, and weight loss, among others, as reported by WebMD.

Recently, a man got infected with this disease and shared his struggle

A 27-year-old man, Leobardo Segura Meza has been affected with this disease and talked about suffering from this disease with the Los Angeles Times. In the interview, he said that he finds it really difficult to breathe because the Silica particles have entered his lungs and blocked the breathing passage.

He said,

"There's no cure for this illness. The only thing they can do is a lung transplant."

Segura Meza said that as more and more people are getting infected with this disease, a time will come when people won't be able to get enough lungs for transplantations.

Other than this, the Los Angeles Times reported that the workplace safety regulators have also shed light on this and said that out of '4,000 workers in the industry across the state, silicosis will afflict between 485 and 848 — and that as many as 161 could ultimately die.'

The Mirror reported that currently, the California government is in the process of drafting emergency rules for this disease so that they can protect more workers.

Moreover, it is also likely that the government will ban highly engineered stones that have a high amount of silica in them.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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