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Artificial stone-associated silicosis in the UK
  1. Chris M Barber1,
  2. David Fishwick1,
  3. Martin J Seed2,
  4. Melanie Carder2,
  5. Martie van Tongeren2
  1. 1 Centre for Workplace Health, Health and Safety Executive, Buxton, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chris M Barber, Centre for Workplace Health, Health and Safety Executive, Harpur Hill, Buxton SK17 9JN, UK; chris.barber{at}

Statistics from

We read with interest the recent article by Hoy et al highlighting the risk of accelerated silicosis in workers installing kitchen and bathroom worktops.1 The Australian paper noted that artificial stone had been available in Australia since the early 2000s, and identified seven cases of silicosis diagnosed between 2011 and 2016. We were particularly interested by this, as the same type of artificial stone worktops have also been commercially available in the UK for approximately the same time period, yet there have been no published cases of accelerated silicosis from our country.

To investigate further, we interrogated the Surveillance of Work-related Occupational Respiratory Disease (SWORD) national reporting scheme database and reviewed the 161 reported cases of silicosis between 2000 and 2017. …

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