Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(2):97-100    pdf


Does long-term concrete work cause silicosis?

by Tornling G, Tollqvist J, Askergren A, Hallin N, Hogstedt C

The machining of cast concrete often produces heavy exposure to respirable silica dust. Work with concrete in general results in considerably less exposure, however, and only a few cases of silicosis due to work with concrete have been reported. Telephone interviews with detailed questions on occupational history were made with 271 construction workers specializing in concrete work for more than 20 years, and exposure data were evaluated for different work tasks. The mean cumulative exposure of subjects to silica was estimated to be 2.4 mg.years.m-3. Chest radiographs were classified according to the International Labour Office classification. There was no suspicion of silicosis for any of the workers. The risk of contracting silicosis from work with concrete in the Swedish construction industry in recent decades is considered to be slight and does not justify general, periodic chest radiographic screening.