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What are the chances of developing acute silicosis after cleaning up dust that contained silica?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 8985 Questions
Hi I was wondering how likely it would be for me to develop acute silicosis after sanding joint compound & cleaning up dust that contained silica there was quite a bit of dust and I used no respirator. I am very concerned.
Posted Wed, 11 Dec 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer: No chance of silicosis; maximum: allergic reaction Detailed Answer: Hello ma'am/sir and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. Silicosis results from long-term exposure to silica dust, in minimal concentration/quantity/amount. I thus think it is highly unlikely for you to develop silicosis from a one time exposure to the dust, although in large quantities. Your respiratory tract shall recognize it as a foreign substance and try its best to expel as much dust from the body as possible; resulting in an allergic-type of reaction. Nothing more than this should result ma'am. Do not worry, and please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
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Follow-up: What are the chances of developing acute silicosis after cleaning up dust that contained silica? 3 hours later
Ok thank u. I was also wondering about asbestos exposure. I own a old house my husband and I started doing some renovations ourselves not realizing some of the walls & floors could possibly contain asbestos. Im wondering how likely it is we will develop lung cancer or mesothelioma. We will no longer be doing home improvements without professional help. My anxiety level has been over the top about these issues: silicosis/mesothelioma/lung cancer.
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 12 hours later
Brief Answer: Asbestosis and lung cancer unlikely ma'am Detailed Answer: Hello once again ma'am. Asbestos exposure also requires long-term exposure and/or exposure to extremely concentrated amounts of asbestos, which is not the case with you and your husband. As you have not mentioned any symptoms, it is highly unlikely that you could have developed asbestosis. And those individuals who have not developed asbestosis are not at a risk to mesothelioma or lung cancer. I hope this clears your query ma'am. I am sure both you and your husband are safe, do take care in avoiding future exposure. Wishing you and your husband good health always. God bless.
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