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CAHAN - Global Epidemic Comes to California: Silicosis in Countertop Workers

CD News Alert

Since 2010, more than 1,000 cases of silicosis in workers who fabricate countertops have been reported worldwide. Workers in this industry can inhale crystalline silica dust as they cut and finish countertops, which places them at risk for silicosis, a severe, incurable lung disease. In California, more than 70 cases of silicosis and at least 10 deaths have been identified among countertop fabrication workers. Workers with silicosis are characterized as young (median age of 45), immigrant men; many have experienced delayed diagnoses and accelerated disease course. California health care providers should ask patients about their occupation and suspect silicosis in countertop workers.

Providers should report any cases, including suspect cases, to Communicable Disease Control by phone 714-834-8180 or by fax 714-564-4050.

Please see the full CDPH Health Advisory here: