ZPH Science Lunch

“Research Impacts after International Agency for

 Research on Cancer (IARC) Classification of Silica

 Dust as a Known Carcinogen: Global Perspective

Presented by: David F. Goldsmith, PhD

June 20, 2024

6:00 a.m. EDT, 10:00 UTC, 12:00 Vienna (Austria)

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) examined the animal and human evidence for the carcinogenicity of crystalline silica (quartz dust) three times–1986, 1997, and 2012. After the 1997 evaluation IARC judged silica dust to be a type 1 or known human carcinogen. In this talk we will briefly review the published epidemiology evidence for cancer among workers exposed to silica and among patients diagnosed with silicosis since 1997. We will also address very current global evidence focusing on workers who mine coal containing high levels of quartz, on African workers with siicotuberculosis, children and their parents involved with artisanal gold mining, railroad workers exposed to silica gravel or ballast, and the severe acute silicosis risk among countertop workers from many countries. Lastly, younger clinicians need to be aware of the importance of future research undertakings, including improving exposure assessments, understanding if there are biochemical or surface chemistries to distinguish silica malignancies from ‘garden variety’ lung tumours, expanding silica linkages to other diseases such as autoimmune ailments, other nonlung cancers (such as gastric, kidney and skin neoplasms), and chronic lung diseases. There is a need for health studies of the interactions of silica with smoking, asbestos, mercury, countertop binders, radiation and coal, and all of this research needs to be applied so prevention can be made a much higher priority.

Join the lecture with the link below.  The presentation will also be made available for replay on the WHWB website.


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