Hazardous dusts from the fabrication of countertop: a review
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Hazardous dusts from the fabrication of countertop: a review

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Arch Environ Occup Health
    • Description:
      Artificial countertop materials, including solid surface composites (SSC) and engineered stone (ES) may pose significant pulmonary health risks for workers who manipulate them. These materials have rapidly become popular in the multibillion-dollar countertop industry, rivaling that of natural materials such as granite and marble due to their variety of desirable esthetic qualities and reduced costs. Both SSC and ES consist of a mineral substrate bound together in a polymer matrix. For SSC the mineral is about 70% aluminum trihydrate (ATH) while ES contains up to 95% crystalline silica by weight. Both materials emit airborne dusts when being manipulated with power tools during the fabrication process. Several deaths and dozens of cases of silicosis have been identified worldwide in workers who fabricate ES, while a single case of fatal pulmonary fibrosis has been associated with SCC dust exposure. This review examines the current state of knowledge for both SSC and ES regarding the composition, particle emission characteristics, workplace exposure data, particle constituent toxicity, and possible methods for reducing worker exposure.
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