The South Australian State Government has announced it will support a ban on silica based engineered stone.
State and Federal stakeholders will be meeting before the end of the year to discuss a ban. Exposure to silica dust causes silicosis – a deadly lung disease which is common among those working in the building/construction industry.
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“Silicosis is a rapidly growing problem and engineered stone workers are dramatically overrepresented in diagnosis with this terrible disease,” SA Industrial Relations Minister Kyam Maher said.
“Having gone through the experience of asbestos in Australia, we cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.”
Safe Work Australia filed a report in October recommending a nationwide ban on silica-based stone. Since then, the ACT and NSW have stated they support a ban. Major retailers IKEA and Bunnings have also stopped supplying silica-based engineered stone products.
ACT, NSW and now SA will all look to enact their own bans if no decision is made by the end of the year.
“The expert evidence is clear there is no safe threshold of respirable silica content in engineered stone, and leading businesses like Bunnings and IKEA have already started to phase these products out of their stores,” Maher said.
‘It’s time to ban these dangerous products and keep South Australians safe.
“If there is no decisive national action on this issue by the end of the year, South Australia reserves the right to go it alone with a ban on a state level.”