‘Kitchen Week’ has just finished on The Block, inspiring another wave of viewers to think about conducting their own home renovations or builds. When it comes to kitchens, engineered stone benchtops have been a popular choice, both on and off-screen, due to their price point. However, concerns regarding silicosis have caused homeowners to seek alternative materials for their benchtops.
This week, we saw contestants reveal kitchens using Silestone, a cheaper alternative to Caesarstone with a ‘lower silica’ content. While we encourage the use of alternatives to engineered stone, no amount of silica is safe.
We see far too many clients with terminal dust diseases due to exposure to crystalline silica dust, and therefore, we strongly urge homeowners undertaking DIY renovations to consider sticking to alternatives with zero silica to eliminate their exposure risk entirely.
Silicosis is an incurable and progressive lung disease caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica particles that can cause scarring on the lungs, often resulting in severe breathlessness, chronic immobility, organ failure and, ultimately, death. Silicosis has become a growing concern for those who work with or install engineered stone benchtops, as they contain up to 97% silica.
A broad range of alternatives to engineered stone benchtops offer unique character and functionality and prioritise safety by minimising or eliminating exposure to silica dust in the manufacturing and installation process.
Related article: Engineered stone and silicosis: what The Block doesn’t reveal
Documenting any dust exposure in case you develop a lung or other related disease later in life is a good idea. We have created the free National Dust Register to provide an easy way to do this.
Recording the details of your silica dust exposure, regardless of how recent or long ago it was, can help any future claims for compensation you may need to make. It's free to register and obligation-free as well.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.