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Medical Geology, Silicosis, 9/14/18

September 14, 2018
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:
Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized (0.0625 to 2 mm) mineral particles or rock fragments.
Most sandstone is composed of quartz or feldspar (both silicates) because they are the most resistant minerals to weathering processes at the Earth’s surface, as seen in Bowen’s reaction series. Like uncemented sand, sandstone may be any color due to impurities within the minerals, but the most common colors are tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, and black. Since sandstone beds often form highly visible cliffs and other topographic features, certain colors of sandstone have been strongly identified with certain regions.
Silicosis also known as (Rock in the Box), miner’s phthisis, grinder’s asthma, potter’s rot and other occupation-related names[1], or by the invented name pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis[2][3]) is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust, and is marked by inflammation and scarring in the form of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. It is a type of pneumoconiosis.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicosis

The Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster was a large-scale incident of occupational silicosis as the result of the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, as part of a hydroelectric project. This project is considered to be one of the worst industrial disasters in American history.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawks_Nest_Tunnel_disaster

Silica

During the construction of the tunnel, workers found the mineral silica and were asked to mine it for use in electroprocessing steel. The workers were not given any masks or breathing equipment to use while mining, although management wore such equipment during inspection visits. As a result of the exposure to silica dust, many workers developed silicosis, a debilitating lung disease. A large number of the workers eventually died from silicosis, in some cases as quickly as within a year.[2]
There are no definitive statistics as to the death toll from the Hawks Nest disaster. According to a historical marker on site, there were 109 admitted deaths. A Congressional hearing placed the death toll at 476.[3] Other sources range from 700 to over 1,000 deaths amongst the 3,000 workers.[4] Many of the workers at the site were African-Americans from the southern United States who returned home or left the region after becoming sick, making it difficult to calculate an accurate total.[5]
>    There was at least 1 case where one of the miners died the same day he started.
+     Desert lung disease may be related to Al Eskan disease, a lung disorder thought to be caused by exposure to sand dust containing organic antigens, which was first diagnosed after the 1990 Gulf war (Iraq).
Dust pneumonia
Dust Storm Texas 1935.jpg
A Dust Bowl-era dust storm in Texas (1935)
Dust pneumonia describes disorders caused by excessive exposure to dust storms, particularly during the Dust Bowl in the United States.
Veterans Lung Diseases
My convoys consisted of a mixed brew of potential lung disorders to include Agent orange, tropical dust with all of the bacteria and viruses, diesel fumes, high humidity, just to name a few.
Must shut this down before I write a medical history of Vietnam.  Thanks, Randy
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