Silicosis is an occupational lung disease that is incurable, progressively disabling and sometimes fatal. Silica dust particles become trapped in lung tissue, causing inflammation and scarring, reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. Safety measures such as wet cutting and the use of effective respiratory protection measures reduce the risks associated with inhaled dust and can prevent the disease. The finished Caesarstone product poses no health hazard.
As a result, unprotected and uncontrolled occupational exposure and inhalation of respirable crystalline silica particles without the protective health and safety measures required by law, is dangerous to health and may cause severe illnesses such as silicosis, which is characterized by fibrosis of the lungs. Silicosis is a chronic, incurable, progressive disease, which may cause severe physical disabilities and may be fatal. According to the US OSHA alert of February 2015, exposure to airborne crystalline silica increases the risk for lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and kidney disease, and according to certain medical schools of thought, also increases the risk for some auto-immune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis). Pre-existing physical disorders may also aggravate the adverse effects of exposure to silica dust.
Silicosis is an occupational disease, known for over a century, which may affect workers in the stone fabrication industry if they process marble, granite, quartz surfaces and other natural stones without safety measures. In the quartz surfaces industry, this disease may affect the Fabrication Process workers themselves, and any other person who is present at the Fabrication Process facilities (where there is silica dust) on a regular basis.