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June 1964

Acute Silicosis

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(6):850-855. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280120050010

Silicosis is an occupational lung disease that is ordinarily the result of prolonged inhalation of air containing free silicon dioxide. In assessing the possibility that a patient's pulmonary disease might be silicosis, careful attention is given to the duration of his occupational exposure. It is generally assumed that a period of 5 to 20 years is necessary to produce the disabling effects of inhaled silicon dioxide dust. Thus, silicosis has come to be considered a chronic disease, developing only after many years of exposure.

The purpose of this paper is to report a case of rapidly developing silicosis, resulting from an unusual occupation.

Report of a Case  A 60-year-old white male entered the University State Tuberculosis Hospital on April 11, 1961, with a tentative diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was well until December, 1960, when he developed a dry persistent cough and, by January, 1961, he began to raise about