August 2023 Occupational Health Watch
New Silica Hazard Alerts for Workers
The California Department of Public Health has learned of at least 10 workers who have died of silicosis due to countertop fabrication work. Most of these workers were in their 30s and 40s, as described in a recent
report. Silicosis is a serious, incurable lung disease caused by breathing silica dust. Workers who cut, grind, and polish engineered stone, commonly referred to as quartz, are at very high risk of silicosis.
The Occupational Health Branch at the California Department of Public Health has released a newly updated Hazard Alert for Workers in
Spanish (PDF), and Traditional Chinese (PDF). The alert warns these workers about the hazard, encourages them to see a doctor, and shares methods that can reduce their exposures to dust.
Email OHW@cdph.ca.gov with feedback about this update or change of address.