GPs urged to ask young male patients 'What job do you do?'

Tradies developing silicosis sooner

GPs are being urged to ask their tradie patients exactly what they do day-to-day, in the hope of diagnosing the lung disease silicosis as early as possible. 

Stonemasons, bricklayers, and those who work in demolition, mining, sandblasting or construction are among those most at risk because of the materials they work with. 

Silicosis is caused by long-term exposure to silica dust, and tradies involved in cutting engineered or artificial stone products in kitchen benchtops are believed to be at greatest risk. 

Shine Lawyers dust disease expert Roger Singh has appealed to doctors to be on the lookout for the illness, especially in young men. 

“We are encouraging doctors to ask, ‘What do you do for a job?’” Mr Singh said in an email.

“Young men who turn up at the doctor’s office with persistent chest infections or ongoing breathing difficulties could be exposed to