Introduction Silicosis is a debilitating but totally preventable occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of silica dust. In Rajasthan, the western most state of India, it is estimated that about 3.0 million workers are employed directly or indirectly in mining and mineral processing and another 3.2 million workers are employed in construction industry who are at the risk of developing silicosis.
Material and Methods The state government has formulated Rajasthan Policy on ‘Pneumoconiosis including Silicosis Detection, Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation – 2019’. The government has also started an online portal for registration, certification and disbursement of relief to silicosis affected persons. The certification is carried out at Community Health Centre or District Hospital based on medical examination and chest radiograph. On certification, the payment of relief to the victim is made from centralized ‘Pneumoconiosis Fund’ through an auto-approval process.
Results On portal, 192,143 persons have registered for silicosis screening examination and 23,436 cases of silicosis including 6876 cases of deaths have been certified. Analysis of data from 4977 cases of silicosis including 741 cases of deaths showed that detection of silicosis among districts with preponderance of stone carving industry was much higher and prevalence was highest among 36 to 40 age group with mean age of occurrence of silicosis being 40.1±10.6 years and for death due to silicosis was 39.7±7.1 years. There is also significant difference in trends in occurrence and death due to silicosis among stone carving and sandstone mining industry.
Conclusions The prevalence of silicosis in stone carving and sandstone mining is much higher than generally believed and it higher in stone carving than sandstone mining. There is urgent need to adopt dust control measures to prevent silicosis.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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.