Our law firm is investigating irreversible lung injuries and deaths caused by artificial and engineered countertops made with silica. Specifically, we want to help workers and consumers file injury complaints against manufacturers, retailers, and employers for knowingly exposing you to dangerous silica dust particles and failing to warn you of silica ingestion. Artificial stone illness is related to to silica dust particle exposure. Silica is a deadly toxin released when cutting countertops. Exposure to silica’s deadly particles may lead silicosis injury and lung illnesses.
Unsurprisingly, many large stone companies and construction businesses have not researched the dangerous nature of silica exposure, and have subjected employees to silica. The amount of silica contained in engineered countertops may be deadly. Instead of warning workers, countertop manufacturers and construction companies send their workers to cut stone without necessary safety equipment. Disgustingly, sometimes companies know the dangers of silica exposure, but fail to warn their works. Some companies put profits over people. As a result, countertop cutters and construction workers are inhaling a large concentration of silica.
Center for Disease Control Findings
The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) warns that granite, marble, and artificial stone contain traces of silica. Additionally, the CDC warns that silica exposure caused by cutting artificial stone or “engineered stone” may be causing irreversible lung illness and death. Toxic and prolonged exposure to silica can cause a disease known as silicosis. Patients diagnosed with Silicosis cannot treat their disease unless the patient receives a lung transplant. Silicosis is progressive in nature. Potential ingestion of silica is wide-ranging and depends on the type of countertop. For instance, the CDC maintains that engineered stone typically contains 90% silica, granite contains less than 45% silica, and marble contains less than 10% silica.
The CDC warns that cutting engineered stone can expose the cutter to deadly silica dust particles. Silicosis injury and sickness occurs in different workers differently, but depends on the nature and severity of the silica exposure. In the last decade, engineered stone has become a common household countertop. According to NPR, manufacturers prefer to use artificial stone over natural stone because artificial stone is less likely to crack or stain. No current dangers of Silicosis exist for consumers that have engineered stone installed in their home.
Are Consumers At Risk Of Silicosis Injury?
Unfortunately, several Silicosis dangers exist. Anyone that ingests silica dust particles while cutting or shaping artificial stone can sustain irreversible lung damage. Officials warn that nearly 8,000 stone manufacturers exist within the United States, subjecting 100,000 workers to silica exposure. A recent study in Australia directly links silica exposure to silicosis. The Australian study found that 12% of stone countertop workers developed silicosis following their exposure to silica dust particles.
News & Resources
Silicosis | Why are people dying from Silica exposure? | NPR | https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/10/02/766028237/workers-are-falling-ill-even-dying-after-making-kitchen-countertops
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