Monthly Archives: April 2023
With the Australian government moving to ban the use of engineered stone containing more than 80% silica, manufacturers and homeowners alike are now seeking safer alternatives for their benchtop materials. The ban is in direct response to a growing number of cases of silicosis, a potentially fatal lung disease; silicosis is caused by inhaling silica dust, which can be released during the cutting, sanding, and polishing of materials such as engineered stone, a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom benchtops. According to recent reports, there have been at least 400 cases of silicosis in Australia in the past five years, with many more cases suspected to go undiagnosed. The disease is irreversible and can lead to lung scarring, shortness of breath, and other respiratory problems, and in severe cases, can be fatal.