Silica Poisoning: Warning Signs You Need to Know
If you work with silica, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of silica poisoning. Silica is a common mineral that is found in many materials, including sand, soil, and rocks. It can also be found in manufactured products such as concrete, bricks, and tiles. When breathed in, tiny particles of silica can cause serious health problems. Visit Asbestos Courses Australia to learn more!
The first thing to understand about silica poisoning is what it actually is. Silica is a chemical compound that consists of silicon and oxygen atoms arranged in a crystalline structure, similar to quartz. This makes silica one of the most abundant compounds on Earth, since it’s found in many types of rocks and soil, as well as manufactured products such as concrete, bricks, and tiles. However, when small particles of silica are breathed in through the lungs, they can cause serious health problems like lung disease and cancer.
According to some estimates, working with materials that contain silica may increase your risk for developing a condition known as “silicosis.” Symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the illness; however common signs include shortness of breath, particularly during exercise, persistent dry cough that may produce white or pink mucus (a sign of lung damage), and chest pain or tightness in the chest area.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your healthcare provider right away. They can perform tests to check for silica poisoning and help determine a course of treatment. Treatment options will depend on the severity of the illness, but often includes medication to ease breathing problems and prevent further damage to the lungs. In some cases, patients may need oxygen therapy. It’s also important to make sure that your employer is aware of your condition so that they can take steps to reduce your risk of exposure in the workplace.