Silicosis is reported as the most prevalent, chronic and irreversible lung disease which is caused by the inhalation of respirable silica dusts and associated with prolonged exposures among workers dealing with. It is one of the oldest fibro-nodular, occupational, incurable lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing free crystalline silica.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk factors for silicosis among workers exposed to freesilica.
In this cross –sectional study, we studied ninety male workers in the quarrying zone of silica in the IraqiWestern Desert. The workers were subjected to clinical interviews and examinations, spiro-metric andchest radiographic examinations.
It was found that the prevalence of silicosis among these 90 workers was 25(27.8%), 18(20%) and16(17.7%) depending on suggestive clinical, spiro-metric and radiographic findings respectively.
Silicosis is an important and common health hazard affecting quarrying workers in Iraq. The ill healtheffects of silicosis (diagnosed by suggestive clinical findings, radiograph &/or spirometry) are moreprevalent in workers with direct exposure or have more than 10 years exposure to silica dust. Smokingis not a risk factor for silicosis. The implementation of accurate and scientific medical supervision forthe workers, with the establishment of proper medical recording system are important steps inprevention the adverse health effects of silica.