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We can't show certain information in Queensland due to local regulations.
For QLD-specific information, please select QLD from the drop down menu at the top of the page.

What's silica dust?

Silica dust is created when a material containing crystalline silica is cut, drilled or ground. The dust particles are small and difficult to see. 

Silica is found in common materials like natural stone, sand, concrete and mortar. These materials are used to make composite or engineered stone for benchtops, and can also be found in tiles, bricks and some plastics.

Silicosis and other silica related diseases

Breathing in silica dust particles can cause diseases such as silicosis. Silicosis is a debilitating and incurable lung disease. It causes scarring of the lungs and advanced symptoms include chronic and severe breathlessness, chronic immobility, oxygen dependence and organ failure. 

Silica dust can also cause:

  • lung cancer
  • emphysema
  • chronic bronchitis
  • asthma
  • auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma 

Unlike asbestos exposure and related diseases which can take decades to show symptoms, silicosis can develop as soon as one year after exposure, but typically the disease is diagnosed around 10 years later. 

Who can be exposed to silica dust?

Exposure to silica dust occurs most often in workplaces, including:

  • Mining
  • Excavation
  • Construction and demolition
  • Quarrying
  • Tunnelling
  • Abrasive blasting 
  • Brick, concrete or stone cutting


Making a claim

If you've been exposed to silica dust and suffer from silicosis and/or a related disease, you may be eligible for compensation. This compensation can help relieve the financial burden and help with expenses for medical treatment and therapies. 

Our expert dust lawyers are experienced with claims like these, and can help guide you through the process. 

The claims differ between states and time periods of exposure. As a national firm, we have offices across Australia and can provide legal advice to help you get the best outcome. 

We're here to help, contact us today. We offer 'no win, no fee' arrangements for these cases, and if you choose not to proceed with your claim, your first consultation is free.


National Dust Register

It’s a good idea to document any dust exposure in case you develop a lung or other related disease later in life. Our free National Dust Register is 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.


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Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, 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.