Question - What is so-called “engineered stone” and what occupational illness are fabricators who work with engineered stone at risk for; and why?
Answer - Engineered stone is a manufactured, quartz-based composite material that can contain >90% crystalline silica. Unprotected workers who perform cutting, grinding, polishing and finishing of engineered stone are at high risk for developing silicosis due to the extremely high level of crystalline silica contained in this material. (Rose C et. al. Severe silicosis in engineered stone fabrication workers-California, Colorado, Texas and Washington, 2017-2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:813-818. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6838a1)