As pioneering treatment begins in Australia, artificial stone silicosis has been labelled as the worst lung disease seen since the asbestos crisis. According to researchers, Silicosis affects those who work cutting engineered stone products like kitchen worktops, making them susceptible to inhaling toxic silica dust. In such high quantities, the dust settles in the lungs, which can often lead to internal scarring (fibrosis) preventing their lungs from working properly and leading to a life limiting condition which has up until now remained untreated.
Sadly, often once a diagnosis has been made it may be too late for some people, as the results of working with these products over a long time often leads to a more progressive form of the disease.
Yet despite this pioneering treatment, which has yet to reach the UK, experts believe that prevention is better than cure.
Taking the necessary measures
Many people work in environments where they are exposed to harmful substances like chemicals, fumes, dust and fibres on a daily basis, which means that organisations need to adhere to strict COSHH guidelines in order to guarantee worker safety.
Engineering teams need to be able to work in environments free from harmful dust particles that can cause life long lung complaints, and making sure your workplaces are free from dust and harmful particles can easily be achieved with up-to-date local exhaust ventilation inspections, and occupational exposure monitoring.
Air sampling for harmful silica particles forms part of our compliance solutions service portfolio. Get in touch today.
Original source here.