Category: Respiratory Health

Worker Exposure to Crystalline Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”  is the process of injecting large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to break up shale formation allowing more efficient recovery of oil and gas.  This form of well stimulation has been used since the late 1940s, but has increased substantially over the last 10 Read More >

Posted on by Eric Esswein, MSPH; Max Kiefer, MS; John Snawder, PhD; and Michael Breitenstein, BS 27 Comments

Respiratory Protection for Workers Handling Engineered Nanoparticles

Are current NIOSH-approved respirators protective against engineered nanoparticles? Find out and read about current research and recommendations for the use and selection of respirators against engineered nanoparticles on the NIOSH Science Blog.  Read More >

Posted on by Ziqing Zhuang, PhD, and Dennis Viscusi33 Comments

Erionite: An Emerging North American Hazard

Recent cases of lung disease suggest that erionite, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral with health effects similar to asbestos, may pose a greater threat to workers than previously realized. Read more about erionite and how to prevent exposure in at-risk occupations such as road construction and maintenance work in areas where erionite-containing gravel or soil is present. Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Max Kiefer, MS, CIH41 Comments

Map: Occurrences of Erionite

From Sheppard R. Occurrences of erionite in sedimentary rocks of the western United States. Denver, CO: US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey; 1996. Open File Report 96–018. Read More >

Posted on by Administrator

The Continuing Persistence of Silicosis

Silica is the most abundant compound in the earth's crust. Inhalation of crystalline silica is the only cause of silicosis, a preventable but incurable type of lung fibrosis. Inhalation has also been associated with lung cancer, tuberculosis, COPD and other conditions.  Read More >

Posted on by David Weissman, MD, and Paul Schulte, PhD24 Comments

Low-dose CT Scans and Lung Cancer Screening in the Occupational Setting

Lung cancer mortality is high and better survival prognosis for early stage cases makes early detection an appealing public health strategy. For years studies have been conducted to find an effective screening method; the NLST is the first randomized trial to show a significant reduction in mortality from lung cancer with low-dose CT screening.  Read More >

Posted on by Simone Tramma, MD, MS; Eileen Storey, MD, MPH; Douglas B. Trout, MD, MHS; Marie Haring Sweeney, PhD, MPH11 Comments