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Artificial stone-associated silicosis in Belgium
  1. Steven Ronsmans1,2,
  2. Lynn Decoster3,
  3. Stephan Keirsbilck1,
  4. Eric K Verbeken4,
  5. Benoit Nemery1,2
  1. 1Clinic of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Centre for Environment and Health, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  3. 3Department of Pulmonology, AZ Turnhout, Turnhout, Belgium
  4. 4Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steven Ronsmans, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Centre for Environment and Health, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49 (O&N1 706), B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; steven.ronsmans{at}

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We read with interest the article by Hoy et al reporting silicosis in seven Australian workers fabricating artificial stone countertops,1 and the letter by Barber et al who could not identify cases in the UK.2 We describe two cases of silicosis in workers employed in a two-man company producing and installing artificial stone kitchen countertops.

The first worker made the countertops by mixing epoxy resin, gravel, sand, pigment and quartz flour (99.4% quartz; 10% of the particles <5 µm, 50% <30 µm, according to the technical data sheet). Approximately 200 kg of quartz flour were used weekly. After curing, the countertops were dry cut, ground and polished. No dust measurements were made. The worker occasionally used a dust mask. He underwent periodic occupational health examination, however, without chest …

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  • Contributors BN had the idea for this letter. SR drafted the manuscript. LD, SK, EKV and BN revised the manuscript. LD, SK and BN took part in the clinical management of the patients. EKV did the histopathological assessment. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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