"Lung Disease: a Human Cost of 'Worn' Denim"
"Most teenage girls wouldn’t deign to wear deep indigo or even crisp bleached jeans. They simply look too new. Fashion dictates that they don broken-in jeans, or at least pants that appear well-worn. So manufacturers have, for decades now, prematurely aged apparel by sandblasting the fabric. A new study out of Turkey finds that some workers charged with giving denim that well-worn look pay a high price: the development of silicosis – an irreversible and potentially lethal lung disease.
Their diagnosis is serious since this incurable illness often continues to worsen even after exposure to silica -- in this case, sand -- ends."Source: Science News, 04/20/2010