Silicosis is a debilitating and often life-threatening fibrotic disease resulting from exposure to crystalline silica. Silicosis is generally characterized by chronic inflammation and an aberrant fibrotic response to injury. In addition, a role for the matrix metalloproteinases in the etiology of silicosis has been suggested following the observation that MMP-2, -9, and -13 are upregulated in experimental lung silicosis (Perez-Ramos et al. 1999).
Silica and Silicosis
The dangers of silica exposure have been reported as far back as the ancient Greeks, particularly in relation to pulmonary disorders (Mason and Thompson 2010). While there are various forms of silica, the crystalline structure is known to be the most dangerous, as opposed to the amorphous form. It is also important to note that crystalline silica is the most common type involved in occupational exposures. In general, crystalline silica particles are...
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