Q. Do I need to be concerned about the short-term silica exposure?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 02, 2017 and last reviewed on: Apr 07, 2021

Hello doctor,

I have a question about crystalline silica dust exposure. I am a firefighter, and I decided to make some repairs to my helmet with high heat furnace cement. Over the past week, I have been sanding the repairs. I was unaware of the inhalation danger of silica dust. I have been wearing a R95 mask and have sanded for a total of four times for about 20 to 25 minutes each time. I used a powered Dremel tool for the sanding. Do I need to be concerned about the silica exposure?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

We are here to help you.

  • Yes, you had silica exposure, but it will not be considered as a high-risk exposure.
  • The frequency of exposure was not much so probably it will not cause silica inhalational lung injury.
  • However, in case you develop any cough, wheezing or chest pain, then it might be due to chemical pneumonitis that can occur with such exposure.
  • I would recommend you to avoid any further exposure as well as to detox yourself by eating a good quantity of green leafy vegetables, fruits and going for a vacation to a place having fresh air.

For further information consult a pulmonologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/pulmonologist

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