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Crystalline Silica and Silicosis

Silicosis is a potentially dangerous but preventable occupational lung infection caused by inhaling respirable particles containing crystalline silicon dioxide (silica). Quartz, a form of crystalline silica, is the second-most plentiful mineral inside the earth’s crust. 


Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Indoor Environment

VOCS: volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are carbon-containing organic chemicals—many of which can be present in indoor in low concentrations. Indoor sources include building materials, furnishings, consumer products, tobacco smoke, and indoor chemical reactions (spontaneous chemical reactions between oxidants such as ozone and various common indoor chemicals in indoor air or on indoor surfaces). VOCs from attached buildings such as auto repair shops and dry cleaners may also enter indoor living spaces, as can outdoor air, also a source of pollutants containing VOCs. VOCs may be odorous and some VOCs are known or suspected to cause a variety of adverse health effects.


Hospital Surfaces Host for the Ebola Virus?

The Ebola virus can live on surfaces in hospitals for almost two weeks, a brand new study indicates. Researchers examined how long the Ebola virus could survive on plastic, stainless steel and Tyvek, a material used in the personal protective suits used for Ebola. In general, the virus survived on surfaces for a longer time when in the climate-controlled conditions rather than in the West African surroundings, the study found. The longest the virus managed to survive in the tropical states of the West African environment was three days, on Tyvek.