'It is just wicked, this is entirely preventable,' says doctor at heart of silicosis crisis

The silicosis epidemic among stonemasons in Queensland is a stark reminder of workplace dangers, writes Megan Howe

GPs are at the forefront in combatting a new epidemic — but it’s not an infectious disease that has public health experts concerned.


An epidemic of silicosis has emerged among workers in the engineered stone industry, bringing into focus the continued risk of lung diseases facing Australian workers across many occupations.

As with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), which shocked physicians when it re-emerged among Queensland coal miners a few years ago, it was thought that safe work practices had relegated silicosis to history.