Silicosis in Turkey: Is it an Endless Nightmare or is There Still Hope?

Turk Thorac J. 2018 Apr;19(2):89-93. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2018.040189. Epub 2018 Apr 1.


Silicosis is an ancient but still life-threatening occupational lung disease because of its incurable nature. Although its risks are known in many occupational settings and effective control strategies are well established, new cases, even epidemics, continue to occur in different sectors of Turkey. Before taking action, defining the magnitude of the problem is essential. In this concise review, we aimed to present the current situation of silicosis in Turkey. According to the data available to date, silicosis continues to be a major health problem in different sectors. Sandblasting seems to have the highest risk for the development of silicosis. Disease onset at early age and history of short exposure duration may indicate intense silica exposure. After denim sandblasters, dental technicians seem to be the new and recently recognized high-risk occupation group as per the increasing reports. Because of the lack of a definite treatment of silicosis, prevention of the disease should be the main target. Better occupational disease registry systems would be useful to assess the magnitude of the problem. In addition to implementing the necessary regulations, a close inspection of the workplaces for potential risks is essential. Other social and economic factors related with the occurrence of disease, such as unregistered employment rate and unlicensed and uninsured work, should also be considered. Finally, optimal healthcare and better living conditions for patients with silicosis should be ensured.

Keywords: Epidemiology; occupational lung diseases; pneumoconiosis; prevention; silica; silicosis.

Publication types

  • Review