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DrRussMD
DrRussMD, Doctor (MD)
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I recently did about 1.5 hours of work putting stone dust

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I recently did about 1.5 hours of work putting stone dust between patio blocks outside - I did not dump the dust (so there were no dust clouds); rather layed it down and then lightly swept it. It was not until several days later when I developed a slight cough/chest discomfort that I researched stone dust to find that it contains crystalline silica; which according to the CDC when inhaled for long periods of time/in large amounts, can develop into either Chronic silicosis if you are exposed for more than 10 years; accelerated or acute silicosis which seem to be rare and you need to be exposed to heavy amounts for a minimum of several MONTHS TO YEARS to develop. So my question is, can a one-time exposure in a well ventilated (outdoors) environment to 'aged' stone dust - as apparently freshly fractured (cutting, blasting, etc) is far worse, lead to silicosis? Also of note, it has been three weeks since the incident and I just did a Pulmonary Function Test and all was normal. Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 5 years ago.
Hello
No

So I hope this relieves the anxiety about this.

You do not have acute silicosis which is a horrible disease and would have you in the hospital.

You certainly do not have chronic silicosis.

You should also remember that mixtures of product have other chemicals, there is out gassing, and a temporary sensitivity reaction can occur depending on the person.

And the most likely possibility..you have an allergy, a cold virus, etc........

There are all sorts of reactions people get to exposures every day and many are not medically defined....but most go away.

Yes if you were a sand blaster, exposed to a lost of dust, without mask protection..then I might have some concern.

Not here.

Use reply if you need to clarify

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you! How can you be 100% sure it is not acute silicosis? :) Again, this happened 3 weeks ago and I do have a slight cough and some chest discomfort; although otherwise healthy - might it get worse?

fyi, if it matters, the stone dust I was using was bluestone; and I know most stone is made of quartz with high concentrations of crystalline silica.

Thanks again

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 5 years ago.
I think you would be a lot worse by now, number one.
YOu have had normal pulmonary function testing.
You did not have the type of exposure...flying dust/sandblasting..etc..that causes this.

And it was also minimal exposure even if you had...one day.

Just do not think it is even closely feasible.

I think you have an allergy, GERD...acid reflux, virus, etc....all more common.

Use reply if you need to clarify

Please don't forget to complete the answer process so I am credited for work and expertise. Even after we are done come back if you need to. Positive/excellent feedback the best! Future questions? Ask for DrThomas in the question title or see my profile to request me. Save my profile to your browser favorites http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-thomas

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

You may have hit in on the head as I was told recently by my ENT that I may have acid reflux - my esophagus is red; but I attributed it to the inhalation of the stone dust - is that even feasible that dust could do that? That also could answer the chest discomfort I am feeling if it is acid reflux? Thanks

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 5 years ago.
it could all be reflux.
Not the dust.


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