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Titre du document / Document title

Health hazards due to the inhalation of amorphous silica

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

MERGET R. (1) ; BAUER T. (2) ; KÜPPER H. U. (3) ; PHILIPPOU S. (4) ; BAUER H. D. (5) ; BREITSTADT R. (3) ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Research Institute for Occupational Medicine (BGFA), Bochum, ALLEMAGNE
(2) Bergmannsheil, University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pneumonology, Allergology and Sleep Medicine, Bochum, ALLEMAGNE
(3) Degussa-Hüls Corporation, Wesseling and Frankfurt am Main, ALLEMAGNE
(4) Department of Pathology, Augusta Krankenanstalten, Bochum, ALLEMAGNE
(5) Research Institute for Hazardous Substances (IGF), Bochum, ALLEMAGNE

Résumé / Abstract

Occupational exposure to crystalline silica dust is associated with an increased risk for pulmonary diseases such as silicosis, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the health effects of amorphous (synonym: non-crystalline) forms of silica. The major problem in the assessment of health effects of amorphous silica is contamination with crystalline silica. This applies particularly to well documented pneumoconiosis among diatomaceous earth workers. Intentionally manufactured synthetic amorphous silicas are without contamination of crystalline silica. These may be classified as (1) wet process silica, (2) pyrogenic (thermal or fumed) silica, and (3) chemically or physically modified silica. According to the different physico-chemical properties, the major classes of synthetic amorphous silica are used in a variety of products, e.g. as fillers in the rubber industry, tyre compounds, free-flow and anti-caking agents in powder materials and liquid carriers, particularly in the manufacture of animal feed and agrochemicals, additives of toothpaste, paints, silicon rubber, insulation material, liquid systems in coatings, adhesives, printing inks, plastisol car undercoatings, and cosmetics. Animal inhalation studies with intentionally manufactured synthetic amorphous silica showed at least partially reversible inflammation, granuloma formation and emphysema, but no progressive fibrosis of the lungs. Epidemiological studies do not support the hypothesis that amorphous silicas have a relevant potential to induce fibrosis in workers with high occupational exposure to these substances, although one study disclosed four cases with silicosis among subjects exposed to apparently non-contaminated amorphous silica. A risk of chronic bronchitis, COPD or emphysema cannot be excluded since there are limited data. There is no study that allows the classification of amorphous silica as to its carcinogenicity to humans. Further work is necessary in order to define the effects of amorphous silica on morbidity and mortality of workers with exposure to these substances.

Revue / Journal Title

Occupational hygiene    ISSN  1061-0251 

Source / Source

2001, vol. 5, no3, pp. 231-251 (60 ref.)

Langue / Language

Anglais

Editeur / Publisher

Gordon and Breach, Lausanne, SUISSE  (1994-1999) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords

Dust

;

Silica

;

Amorphous state

;

Toxicity

;

Occupational exposure

;

Occupational medicine

;

Inhalation

;

Human

;

Animal

;

Inorganic compound

;

Respiratory disease

;

Mots-clés français / French Keywords

Poussière

;

Silice

;

Etat amorphe

;

Toxicité

;

Exposition professionnelle

;

Médecine travail

;

Inhalation

;

Homme

;

Animal

;

Composé minéral

;

Appareil respiratoire pathologie

;

Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords

Polvo

;

Sílice

;

Estado amorfo

;

Toxicidad

;

Exposición profesional

;

Medicina ocupacional

;

Inhalación

;

Hombre

;

Animal

;

Compuesto inorgánico

;

Aparato respiratorio patología

;

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 26622, 35400009964298.0030

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 1134151



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