Lung Health Testing: Silica, Asbestos, and More


In safety-sensitive occupations, it’s extremely important to ensure that employees’ are protected from any possible contaminants. Chemicals, fumes, reduced oxygen, and dust can all be extremely hazardous to an employees’ lungs, potentially causing irreversible damage. There are important safety measures that we at Precede provide to help keep workers healthy and protected from the many possible contaminants that can be present in the workplace. For more information on these contaminants, and the services that Precede provides, please keep reading.



Crystalline silica is a well-known carcinogen to humans, and can lead to other serious, and sometimes fatal illnesses such as silicosis, tuberculosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Actions such as cutting, breaking, crushing, or drilling concrete or stone releases silica dust, and as workers breathe in this dust, the silica settles in their lungs


Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral, and is also a well-known carcinogen to humans. It is mainly used to insulate buildings and homes, and for fireproofing. Asbestos can cause many dangerous illnesses, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Precede is able to test for asbestos exposure and document any changes in lung health due to asbestos exposure over time.



Spirometry or Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) measure how well the lung draws in and releases air. When exposed to contaminants in the workplace, the employee’s lungs are directly affected, impacting the health of their lungs. When left unchecked, this exposure can cause irreversible damage to the health of lungs. Spirometry can be utilized when implementing the Health Surveillance of the employees who wear respiratory protective equipment, which is mandatory as per the Government of Alberta and consistent with the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety code. We at Precede use this test to check for any possible exposure to contaminants, including silica and asbestos.


We at Precede also provide another service that ensures that workers are wearing properly sized and sealed respiratory equipment. This helps protect lung health and prevent any possible contaminants from entering the lungs, as Mask Fit Testing looks for any leaks in respiratory equipment, and makes sure that particles are being effectively filtered through the mask. Mask Fit Testing is great for keeping employees’ as protected as possible, and for preventing any irreversible damage to the lungs that can come from the workplace.


This program runs similar to our Audiometric Management Software Program, as it stores all employee testing information within the program and runs automatic evaluations once the results from the Pulmonary Function Test have been entered. This helps maintain a reliable summary of all employees over time, giving you the reports you need to ensure a safe working environment.

Ensuring that an employees’ lungs are healthy fit for work is extremely important, as exposure to dangerous contaminants can have serious effects on the lungs. As an employer, it is your duty to keep employees safe and protected, which is why investing in Precede’s Spirometry Management Software Program is both beneficial and necessary. Being aware of dangerous chemicals in the workplace is a great step towards a safe and healthy work environment, and we at Precede strive to help employers educate and protect their workers at all costs.