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Silicosis is a debilitating lung disease resulting from prolonged inhalation of crystalline silica dust, commonly found in industries such as mining, construction, and manufacturing. However, a concerning rise in silicosis cases has been observed among workers in the engineered stone industry, where silica-containing materials are used extensively.

Manufactured stone, often used for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities, contains high levels of crystalline silica. During fabrication processes like cutting, grinding, and polishing, silica dust is generated and can be inhaled by workers. Over time, this inhalation leads to scarring and inflammation in the lungs, impairing their ability to function properly.

Symptoms of silicosis typically develop gradually and may include persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. In advanced stages, individuals may experience severe respiratory complications, such as respiratory failure and increased susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Early detection of silicosis is crucial for managing the disease and preventing further progression. This involves regular health monitoring and screenings for individuals at risk of silica exposure. Additionally, minimizing exposure to silica dust through effective engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and proper workplace practices is essential for preventing silicosis and protecting workers’ health.

Efforts to raise awareness about the risks of silica exposure and improve workplace safety standards are essential in mitigating the incidence of silicosis and safeguarding the health of workers in industries where silica exposure is prevalent.

By Gumersindorego - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,