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January 5, 1952


Author Affiliations

Institute of Industrial Health University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1952;148(1):69. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930010071023

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To the Editor:—  The Journal for Oct. 20, 1951 (page 751) presents an article by Drs. Ginsberg and Becker entitled "Silicon Granuloma of Skin Due to Traumatic Sand Inoculation." This article is admirable in that it provides an excellent description of a pathologic condition probably of frequent occurrence but rarely recognized by the medical profession.Possibly the choice of some terminology is unfortunate. Silicon, the element, does not exist in nature and could not even remotely lead to granulomas. Its implied identification with sand may not be warranted. Silicon, the element, is produced in electric furnaces, in fair tonnage, and is used in such industries as aluminum smelting and recovery. Silicon presently is regarded as one of the most inert of all substances. Silica granulomas readily may appear, but silica is silicon dioxide. As between silicon and silica there is a striking dissimilarity in physiologic response. Silica readily produces tissue

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