Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A study of silica nephrotoxicity in exposed silicotic and non-silicotic workers.
  1. T P Ng,
  2. Y L Ng,
  3. H S Lee,
  4. K S Chia,
  5. H Y Ong
  1. Department of Community, Occupational, and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore.


    The possible human nephrotoxicity of silica has often been suggested by previous anecdotal reports and uncontrolled clinical studies of silicotic patients. Urinary excretions of albumin, alpha-1-microglobulin (AMG), and beta-N-acetyl-glucosaminidase (NAG) were measured in 33 male workers exposed to silica (mean duration of employment 16 years) and 19 male age matched non-exposed subjects with no history of primary or secondary renal diseases. Significantly higher urinary excretions of albumin and AMG were found in the workers exposed to silica. Silicotic subjects (n = 7) also had significantly high excretions of albumin, AMG, and NAG. All but one of the silicotic patients had ceased exposure from three to 17 years before the study. Our findings suggest that prolonged exposure to silica is associated with chronic irreversible nephrotoxicity in exposed workers.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.