Last edited 02/2020 and last reviewed 02/2020

Silicosis is now a relatively uncommon condition because of the recognition of harmful effects caused by exposure and inhalation of dust containing crystalline silica particles (1) and subsequent improved procedures to reduce a worker's exposure to the dust.

Workers at risk from high levels of exposure to crystalline silica particles include those in certain quarrying, sandblasting and mining operations. Other at risk groups include workers in the ceramics industry who are involved in dry-milling of ingredients or dry-finishing of fired articles, workers involved in maintaining kilns and furnaces, stone-masons, and workers involved in processes where sand is used in moulds.

The disease is classified as either simple nodular silicosis or advanced nodular silicosis.


  • Sato T et al. Silicosis and lung cancer: current perspectives. Lung Cancer: Targets and Therapy 2018; 9: 91-101.