Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 16 December 2015, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Silica[title]

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Cite this page: Silica. website. Accessed January 18th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Present in minerals and building materials
  • Most forms are inert, cannot be stained in tissue, can be demonstrated by white birefringence on polarization
  • Most often present in lung, occasionally in lymph nodes
  • Street drugs for injection are often diluted with silica or talc
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Silica crystals in silicosis of lung, polarized

Polarizable crystals in lung with intravenous drug use