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Respiratory disease

Occupational respiratory disease is a medical term used to describe diseases caused by, or made worse by, something you breathe in at work, eg. wood dust, stone dust, poultry dust or fumes. 

In the non metallic mineral industries the biggest respiratory risk comes from Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).  This can be found in stone, rocks, sands and clays.   Exposure to RCS over a long period of time can cause Silicosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Exposure to RCS must be either prevented or controlled in the workplace to reduce the risk of respiratory disease.

Further information, advice and guidance on respiratory disease and silicosis can be found at the lung diseases microsite.

Updated: 2013-08-08