28-year-old worker İdris Oral died after he fell ill with silicosis, a respiratory disease caused by inhaling silica dust, due to his work in a denim sandblasting workshop. Oral is the 50th worker who lost his life because of silicosis.
As reported by PirsusHaber.com, Oral fell ill with silicosis seven years ago when he was working in a sandblasting workshop in Istanbul. Oral spent the last two months before his death at the Bingöl Hospital.
According to the news, silicosis occurs most frequently at the Taşlıçay Village as part of the Karlıova district in Bingöl (south-eastern Turkey), the place Oral came from. A total of 168 silicosis patients live in the village, four of them are severe cases. There are 320 cases of silicosis in the whole region of Bingöl.
Oral's father Mehmet Faik Oral said, "We hoped our son would recover and brought him to the Ankara Çapa Hospital and other hospitals. He was treated at the Erzurum Research Hospital. But he did not recover".
Bingöl Society and Education Volunteer Semiramis Karaarslan pointed out that silicosis patients should retire by reason of a physical disability.
According to the website of the Committee for Solidarity with Denim Sandblasting Workers, the latest case of death caused by silicosis was 31-year-old Mehmet Şah Yalçın who died in February 2011.
Şah had worked for three years without security in a denim sandblasting workshop in Güngören. Initially, he was treated for tuberculosis. When the doctors later on corrected the diagnosis with silicosis, the disease had already advanced.
The 48th person who died of silicosis was 33-year-old Mesut Erzurum. Erzurum was working in a three-square-metre room at a denim sandblasting workshop in Küçükköy (Istanbul) for nine years. He had no social security.
Dental technicians face threat of silicosis too
In Turkey, silicosis was mainly brought to the agenda with regard to denim sandblasting workers but also dental prosthetic technicians face the threat of the fatal lung disease.
There are about 20,000 dental technicians in Turkey. The report of the Istanbul Occupational Health and Safety Council revealed that four dental technicians died of silicosis this year. Ten percent of these workers are suffering from silicosis or asthma. (NV/VK)
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