New US study shows further evidence of the fatal impact of engineered stone

Media Release - July 27, 2023

New US study shows further evidence of the fatal impact of engineered stone

The ACTU has long highlighted the terrible impacts that engineered stone is having in Australia, with one in four stonemasons who work with engineered stone products having contracted silicosis, an incurable and aggressive lung disease.

Engineered stone is not an essential building material and there are many safe alternatives. Emissions from engineered stone are qualitatively different from natural stone, with experts finding that even engineered stone products with low silica levels are still highly dangerous for those fabricating and installing bench tops.

A new US study estimated that 100,000 workers in the U.S. are potentially at risk of silicosis due to exposure to silica dust.

Roughly 2.3 million US workers are exposed to silica in the workplace, including 2 million in construction and 300,000 in other industries, according to the American Lung Association.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien:

“The world is finally waking up to the impacts of this deadly disease. In Australia we are calling for a full ban on all engineered stone, irrespective of silica content. We are now seeing on a global scale how this deadly dust impacts those who work with it. Industry is failing to demonstrate that engineered stone products can be worked with safely. A full ban is the only option. 


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