More Than Just Dust: Silicosis, Prevalent in the Construction Sector

Dust As Cause of SilicosisDo you work at a construction site? Surely, there are safety precautions that you are aware of. Of course, in various industries, injuries are inevitable; it is just a matter of how cautious and conscious a person is with their environment.

The construction industry is one of the UK’s major employers. They employ around 6 percent of the nation’s workforce. According to the Health and Safety Executive, in the construction sector, at least 3 percent of workers fall ill to what they believe is a work-related illness. This accounts for approximately 69,000 self-reported cases of work-related illnesses. Forty-five thousand of these cases were musculoskeletal disorders.

One of the illnesses prevalent in the construction sector is silicosis. shares more information about this and how it is dangerous for workers in various industries.


This is a long-term disease affecting the lungs. Prolonged exposure to excessive amounts of crystalline silica dust is the main cause. The particles affect the ability to breathe the more it scratches against and scars the lungs.

Commonly found in rock, sand, clay and sand, this substance is easily inhaled because of its fine texture. Those workers exposed to concrete, stone and its by-products are most affected by this illness. The industries include stone cutting and masonry, construction, glass and ceramic manufacturing, quarrying and mining, and sandblasting.

Symptoms include insistent shortness of breath, incessant coughing, and fatigue. The more exposure and the evasion toward treatment can cause these symptoms to worsen.

The illness may develop into more severe cases such as pulmonary hypertension, arthritis, kidney disease, and heart failure.

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Other Illnesses in the Construction Industry

Apart from silicosis, people in the construction industry can develop other illnesses that, if left untreated, can be fatal. There are asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, and pleural thickening. Workers can also develop occupational asthma if they do not take their safety seriously.

In the construction industry, occupational ill-health is a major problem that affects thousands of people. Prevention is key, so remember: safety first! Do not forget to go for regular health check-ups with the doctor can help monitor your health.