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The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica.
Ann Occup Hyg. 2016 Jun; 60(5):631-7.AO

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is a biologically active dust that can accumulate in the lung and induce silicosis and lung cancer. Despite occupational exposure being the predominant source, no study has described current occupational RCS exposure on a national scale in Australia. The aim of this study is to estimate the characteristics of those exposed and the circumstances of RCS exposure in Australian workplaces.

METHODS

A cross-sectional survey of the Australian working population (18-65 years old) was conducted. Information about the respondents' current job and their demographic characteristics was collected in a telephone interview. Occupational exposure to RCS was determined based on preprogrammed decision rules regarding potential levels of exposure associated with self-reported tasks.

RESULTS

Overall, 6.4% of respondents were deemed exposed to RCS at work in 2012 (3.3% were exposed at a high level). The exposure varied with sex, state of residence, and socioeconomic status. Miners and construction workers were most likely to be highly exposed to RCS when performing tasks with concrete or cement or working near crushers that create RCS-containing dusts. When extrapolated to the entire Australian working population, 6.6% of Australian workers were exposed to RCS and 3.7% were highly exposed when carrying out tasks at work.

CONCLUSION

This is the first study investigating occupational RCS exposure in an entire national working population. The information about occupational tasks that lead to high level RCS exposure provided by this study will inform the direction of occupational interventions and policies.

Authors+Show Affiliations

1.School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia; si.si@curtin.edu.au.1.School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia;1.School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia;2.School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;3.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Prahran, Victoria, Australia;4.Occupational Respiratory Epidemiology, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.2.School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia;1.School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia;1.School of Public Health, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia;

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26888888

Citation

Si, Si, et al. "The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica." The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, vol. 60, no. 5, 2016, pp. 631-7.
Si S, Carey RN, Reid A, et al. The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. Ann Occup Hyg. 2016;60(5):631-7.
Si, S., Carey, R. N., Reid, A., Driscoll, T., Glass, D. C., Peters, S., Benke, G., Darcey, E., & Fritschi, L. (2016). The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 60(5), 631-7. https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mew007
Si S, et al. The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. Ann Occup Hyg. 2016;60(5):631-7. PubMed PMID: 26888888.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The Australian Work Exposures Study: Prevalence of Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica. AU - Si,Si, AU - Carey,Renee N, AU - Reid,Alison, AU - Driscoll,Timothy, AU - Glass,Deborah C, AU - Peters,Susan, AU - Benke,Geza, AU - Darcey,Ellie, AU - Fritschi,Lin, Y1 - 2016/02/17/ PY - 2016/2/19/entrez PY - 2016/2/19/pubmed PY - 2017/5/5/medline KW - Australia KW - Occupational exposure assessment KW - Silica SP - 631 EP - 7 JF - The Annals of occupational hygiene JO - Ann Occup Hyg VL - 60 IS - 5 N2 - BACKGROUND: Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is a biologically active dust that can accumulate in the lung and induce silicosis and lung cancer. Despite occupational exposure being the predominant source, no study has described current occupational RCS exposure on a national scale in Australia. The aim of this study is to estimate the characteristics of those exposed and the circumstances of RCS exposure in Australian workplaces. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of the Australian working population (18-65 years old) was conducted. Information about the respondents' current job and their demographic characteristics was collected in a telephone interview. Occupational exposure to RCS was determined based on preprogrammed decision rules regarding potential levels of exposure associated with self-reported tasks. RESULTS: Overall, 6.4% of respondents were deemed exposed to RCS at work in 2012 (3.3% were exposed at a high level). The exposure varied with sex, state of residence, and socioeconomic status. Miners and construction workers were most likely to be highly exposed to RCS when performing tasks with concrete or cement or working near crushers that create RCS-containing dusts. When extrapolated to the entire Australian working population, 6.6% of Australian workers were exposed to RCS and 3.7% were highly exposed when carrying out tasks at work. CONCLUSION: This is the first study investigating occupational RCS exposure in an entire national working population. The information about occupational tasks that lead to high level RCS exposure provided by this study will inform the direction of occupational interventions and policies. SN - 1475-3162 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26888888/The_Australian_Work_Exposures_Study:_Prevalence_of_Occupational_Exposure_to_Respirable_Crystalline_Silica_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -