At the age of 17, Urmila Yadav became one of the youngest certified cases of silicosis in India, It can lead to breathing difficulties, regular coughing, chest pains and, sometimes, tuberculosis and other chest infections. Rajasthan, which has the highest number of mining leases, has been the epicentre of silicosis in India. The number of silicosis certified patients in Rajasthan, according to government data, is 8,441 (the figures are available up to April 2017). Actual numbers are likely to be much higher, claim advocacy groups. Mining industry 'out of control'
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It is the only state to have a monetary relief mechanism for certified patients, in place since 2013, but the onus is on workers to get a diagnosis and prove their occupational history, which is challenging in an unregulated industry like mining in India. More men than women are vulnerable to the disease, because of higher exposure over a period of time. The National Human Rights Commission of India calculates the average age of onset of silicosis at 27 years.