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In 2018, we reported in this journal seven cases of artificial (engineered) stone silicosis in Australia and described it as a ‘rapidly emerging’ occupational lung disease.1 Last year, also in OEM, we reported a further 86 workers with silicosis identified during the first year of a targeted health assessment programme for stone benchtop industry workers in Victoria, Australia.2 There is now ample evidence that an epidemic of silicosis in the stone benchtop industry is no longer ‘emerging’, but has now occurred Australia, and is highly likely to be replicated in all countries where artificial stone has become popular.
We read with great interest the paper by Hua et al, detailing the initial findings of the Engineered Stone Silicosis Investigators (ESSI) Global Silicosis Registry.3 The authors report 169 cases of artificial stone silicosis from Israel (125), Spain (20), Australia (14) and the USA (10). This collaboration further increases our understanding of artificial stone silicosis, which is occurring in a relatively young worker population, almost one-third of …
Contributors The authors contributed equally.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.