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Silicosis Surveillance—Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 1987–1990

Mary J. Reilly, Kenneth D. Rosenman, Flint C. Watt, Martha J. Stanbury, David J. Valiante, Lesliann E. Helmus, Adeline A. Migliozzi, Henry A. Anderson, Lawrence Hanrahan, Ruth A. Jajosky, Karl J. Musgrave, Robert M. Castellan and Diana L. Ordin
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Surveillance Summaries
Vol. 42, No. SS-5 (November 19, 1993), pp. 23-28
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24675574
Page Count: 6
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Silicosis Surveillance—Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 1987–1990
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Abstract

Problem/Condition: Improved surveillance for silicosis is needed to target interventions to prevent this occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust. Reporting Period Covered: 1987—1990. Description of Systems: State-based silicosis surveillance and intervention programs have been developed in Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin as part of the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR) Program, initiated in 1987 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Results: From 1987 through 1990, the SENSOR program confirmed a total of 430 cases of silicosis reported from these four states. Overall, approximately 60% of these cases were in workers employed in primary metal industries, although the types of industries in which cases occurred varied by state. Some cases were attributable to relatively recent exposure, including new cases in seven persons first exposed since 1980 in New Jersey. Silicosis case reports have prompted measurement of respirable silica concentrations at 25 Michigan work sites, and 14 (56%) of these sites were found to have levels that exceeded the legally permissible exposure level. Interpretation: The silicosis surveillance and intervention strategies piloted by state health departments in the NIOSH-funded SENSOR Program have demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of identifying specific silica-using work sites that need preventive intervention. Actions Taken: On the basis of initial experience in these four states, NIOSH developed guidelines for state-based silicosis surveillance and awarded SENSOR cooperative agreements to three additional states where the applicability of these surveillance methods will be further evaluated.

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