Bhubaneswar, 27/6 ( Odisha Samachar/Abhisek Mohanty) : Lack of awareness among workers, employers and doctors, inadequate infrastructure for diagnosis and management, small scale and unorganized sector not covered by legislation, non-reporting of cases of silicosis by industry, misdiagnosis and treatment of silicosis as tuberculosis, lack of coordination among stakeholders for elimination of silicosis are some of the areas of concern in India and Odisha for rampant occupational health hazards and silicosis prevalence which need to be addressed by the government. This was revealed during the state level workshop on “Occupational Health Hazards, Silicosis Prevention in Stone Crushers & Other Industries” organized by Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP) with the support of Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) at Hotel Empire here on Friday.

According to the World Health Organization, silicosis, one of the oldest occupational diseases, still kills thousands of people every year and everywhere in the world. It is an incurable lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing free crystalline silica. It is irreversible and, moreover, the disease progresses even when exposure stops. Extremely high exposures are associated with much shorter latency and more rapid disease progression. A recent report issued by the National Institute of Miner’s Health (NIMH) on silicosis amongst mine workers in India including Odisha shows an alarmingly high incidence of silicosis among them. In India, a prevalence of 55 percent was found ion one group of workers, many of them very young, engaged in the quarrying shale sedimentary rock and subsequent work in small, poorly ventilated sheds. Studies on silicosis pencil workers in Central India demonstrated high mortality rates; the mean age at death was 35 years and the mean duration of the exposure was 12 years. Read more

Courtesy: Odisha Samachar