At the end of October 2019 the Australia New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM) will be conducting its annual scientific meeting in Adelaide. There are many issues on the agenda but silicosis is likely to figure prominently as it did last year, and as it should. The politics, knowledge and regulatory action has changed in the intervening twelve months.
Australia has new guidances from several occupational health and safety (OHS) regulators and agencies which restrict or ban dry-cutting of engineered stone and change other safety-related practices. There is also at least one political move to ban the use of engineered stone. But perhaps more important is that new research on silicosis risks is appearing and not just from Australia. The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new research on 27 September 2019 based on medical assessments and several silicosis-related deaths.