MND: Many autoimmune diseases are the result of a genetic predisposition and a environmental trigger. The Carolina study is described in this NIHS post.
Quoting: “…The study included 265 patients with lupus or “cases” and 355 people without lupus or “controls” living in 60 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina…Contrary to the their expectations, the team found little evidence that higher estrogen exposures were associated with an increased risk of SLE. …The results of the analysis of occupational exposure to silica dust in relation to risk of SLE were striking: a dose-response across levels of exposure, with an approximate two-fold increased risk in the medium exposure category and a four-fold increased risk in the high exposure category....”
That is a relatively small study, but sizable enough.
MND: Other exposures were also followed, but with weaker association in this other part of the study
Why silica dust? And what other diseases is silica dust involved with?
A partial answer can be found , focusing on autoimmune diseases, in “Occupational exposure to crystalline silica and autoimmune disease“, From National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, posted in PubMed
Autoimmune diseases linked are, in addition to Lupus:
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- small vessel vasculitidies with renal involvement (e.g., Wegener granulomatosis).
Silica is a pervasive industrial material, from glass to semi-conductors. click here for background on silica