Advertisement
Perspectives

Artificial stone: a new cause of silicosis

Ryan Hoy

Figures

© ALEKSANDARGEORGIEV/ISTOCK  PHOTO.COM
© ALEKSANDARGEORGIEV/ISTOCK PHOTO.COM

Abstract

Occupational silica dust exposure is one of the earliest recognised causes of lung disease. Despite this, Australia is experiencing a major outbreak of silica-related disease in workers fabricating and installing benchtops made from artificial stone.

Key Points

  • A major outbreak of silicosis is occurring in Australia due to the fabrication and installation of artificial stone benchtops.
  • Crystalline silica is recognised as a hazardous substance under Australian law.
  • Exposure to silica is also associated with tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic renal disease.
  • Urgent identification of those exposed to hazardous levels of silica due to working with artificial stone and appropriate health assessments and management are needed.

Figures

© ALEKSANDARGEORGIEV/ISTOCK  PHOTO.COM
© ALEKSANDARGEORGIEV/ISTOCK PHOTO.COM