Silicosis is a lung disease caused by exposure to airborne silica. Generally, it causes scarring (pulmonary fibrosis) after 20 or more years of exposure. Since 1988, Michigan has been identifying individuals who develop silicosis with the goal of targeting prevention actions. Michigan’s system is both the longest running and only comprehensive surveillance system for silicosis in the United States.
Knowing how many, who and where injuries or disease are occurring is a basic premise of preventing injuries and illnesses. If we don’t have accurate information on injury/illness occurrence, we don’t know how many resources to devote, what action(s) to take or whether the action we do take is effective.