Asbestosis and Silicosis Surveillance
Asbestosis is a chronic fibrotic lung disease that results from the long-term inhalation of respirable asbestos fibers.
Silicosis is a respiratory disease caused by inhalation of silica dust that leads to inflammation and then scarring of the lung tissue.
Since 1986, the Environmental & Injury Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit (EIET) has conducted surveillance of these occupational lung diseases in the state of Texas by collecting case reports from medical care providers. Additionally, death certificate and hospital discharge data are used to monitor rates of asbestosis and silicosis in the state. The objective of these surveillance measures is to detect disease trends, identify high-risk occupational activities, and implement preventive measures to protect at-risk populations.
Texas law requires reporting of specific occupational diseases to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Specifically, 25 Tex. Admin. Code § 99.1 states that health care providers, hospitals, laboratories, and other designated professionals shall report confirmed or suspected cases of asbestosis and silicosis to DSHS. Release of this information is allowable under HIPAA regulations. Section 164.512(b) permits covered entities to release private health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to collect and receive information for preventing and controlling disease.
What to Report
All cases that meet any of the following criteria should be reported:
A physician's provisional or working diagnosis of silicosis.
A chest radiograph interpreted as consistent with silicosis.
Pathologic findings consistent with silicosis.
A physician's provisional or working diagnosis of asbestosis.
A chest radiograph interpreted as consistent with asbestosis.
Pathologic findings consistent with asbestosis.
How to Report
To report suspected or confirmed cases of asbestosis or silicosis, complete and fax DSHS Form #F09-11626 to the DSHS Environmental and Injury Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit at (512) 776-7222.
Alternately, reports can be made by calling 1(800) 588-1248. Reports should contain the following information at a minimum: patient name, date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity, smoking history, occupational history (including employer, dates of employment, occupation/job activities), diagnosing physician name, physician address, facility name, and physician city.