Exposure to silica dust - Are we doing enough for those at risk?

Over 500 NZ workers exposed to silica dust from cutting engineered stone.

The health risks of working with RCS (Respirable Crystalline Silica)  for stonemasons, tunnellers, miners, and concrete workers have been known for more than 100 years.

Accelerated silicosis is a type of progressive lung disease caused by exposure to high levels of silica dust, common in engineered stone cutting. It is a more aggressive form of silicosis and appears sooner and may progress faster than silicosis. (WorkSafe)

Stuff reports Dr Alexandra Muthu, RACP spokesperson on silicosis, describes the current worker screening efforts as an outrage.

Engineered stone contains more than 90% silica, which is considerably higher than natural stone such as granite with less than 45% silica. RCS particles are extremely small and often invisible to the naked eye.


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