Investigating the mortality risk of silicosis and lung cancer in foundry workers

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (بدون رتبه معتبر)
Background & Aims

The correlation between silicosis and elevated susceptibility to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and autoimmune disorders is well-established. Hence, it is imperative to thoroughly analyze the potential health risks posed by exposure to crystalline silica within the foundry industry. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the mortality rate associated with silicosis and lung cancer among workers in a foundry industry located in Urmia city in 2021.

Materials & Methods

The concentration of crystalline silica in the air was determined using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in accordance with NIOSH 7602. Estimating the excess lifetime risk of mortality and rate of silicosis-related mortality was performed using Rice et al. and Mannetje et al. models.


The average concentration of crystalline silica in six occupational groups ranged from 0.029 to 0.064 mg.m-3. Among the six occupational groups studied, sand preparation workers were the most exposed to crystalline silica. According to the model of Mannetje et al., the cumulative exposure of 87% of people exposed to crystalline silica is in the range of 0 to 0.99, which indicates the death of one person per thousand people. Also, in this industry, the risk of dying from lung cancer was 15 per thousand people.


The findings indicate that the average concentration of crystalline silica in all occupational groups exceeded the permissible occupational exposure limit of 0.025 mg.m-3 recommended by the Occupational Health Committee of Iran. Additionally, the estimated risk of death due to silicosis and lung cancer is also higher than the acceptable risk level. Therefore, the implementation of control measures against exposure to silica is highly recommended.

Health Science Monitor, Volume:2 Issue: 4, Autumn 2023
273 to 281  
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