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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

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RIBEIRO, Fátima Sueli Neto; CAMARGO, Esther Archer de; ALGRANTI, Eduardo  and  WUNSCH FILHO, Victor. Occupational exposure to silica in Brazil in 2001. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.1, pp.89-96. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the number of Brazilian workers exposed to silica in 2001. METHODS: Information on occupation and industry for the year 2001 was linked through a job exposure matrix (JEM) of 347 job categories in 25 industries. Data on the number of workers were extracted from the National Workforce Database of the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Two experts classified silica exposure according to frequency in four categories, according to weekly proportion of exposure to silica in the work environment. RESULTS: 31,451,594 (85.7%) workers were classified as not exposed; 976,939 (2.65%) as possibly exposed; 2,404,955 (6.52%) as probably exposed; and 2,065,929 (5.6%) as definitely exposed to silica. Industries with a higher prevalence were: construction 65%, quarrying 59%, manufacturing of non metallic mineral products 55%, manufacturing of basic metals 24%, and rent of machinery and other business activities 2%. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of Brazilian workers definitely exposed to silica is higher than the one observed in European countries, where similar studies were conducted.

Keywords : Silica; Job exposure matrix; Epidemiology; Occupational exposure.

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