Silicosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling tiny bits of silica dust, which can lead to scarring (fibrosis) of lung tissue. This can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain, and can lead to severe respiratory problems and even death.

Dangerous exposure occurs primarily during the installation of engineered stone benchtops in households when cutting, drilling or grinding these materials. As well as silicosis, exposure can cause lung cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

Despite these dangers, Engineered Stone remains a top choice for Australian consumers because of its low-cost and durability. But there are safer, higher-quality products that could easily take its place.

Know the facts

More than half a million Australian workers are currently exposed to silica dust

More than 600 workers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland have silicosis

Almost one in four workers exposed to silica before 2018 have been diagnosed with silicosis

103 000 people will contract silicosis in their lifetime, and 10,000 will develop lung cancer unless engineered stone is banned now.

Silicosis increases the risk of getting other serious conditions such as tuberculosis (TB), chest infections, emphysema and kidney damage

There are safer, affordable products that could easily take the place of engineered stone.

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