Explainer: what is silicosis and why is this old lung disease making a comeback?
Silicosis is a group of occupational lung diseases caused by breathing in silica dust. It has been described since ancient times, when miners and stone cutters were exposed to dust containing this crystalline mineral.
Silicosis was more common in Australia in the 1940s to 60s, particularly in construction and demolition workers. Growing awareness of the disease and the importance of reducing exposure to dust – for instance, wearing masks at work, wetting the dust and other safe work practices – has reduced the number of cases. Read more