Engineered stone has been widely used for decades to make benchtops in bathroom and kitchens in Australia and is responsible for causing deadly silicosis disease in as many as one in four stonemasons.
Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate Leah O’Keefe said the proposed ban would save lives.
“Engineered stone is a man-made product with an incredibly high content of silica. When cut, the workers breathe in the silica dust - which causes silicosis, a serious and sometimes fatal lung disease.”
“That is why it is dangerous. That is why it needs to be banned. Stonemasons exposed to it have high risk of lung cancer, with some studies estimating that one in four Australian stone workers already have silicosis. Curtin University estimates ten thousand Aussie workers will develop lung cancer in the future due to silica dust exposure.”
“That is why a chorus of experts, scientists, unions, doctors and lawyers support a ban because it will drastically reduce the number of people who get sick in the future.”
“We have seen the impacts on workers; we have watched people die from silicosis - we have seen the devastating and crippling impacts silicosis has on our clients and their families. The fact of the matter is that a ban will save lives. There is no safe level of workplace exposure to silica dust.”
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