Outbreak of Silicosis among Engineered Stone Countertop Workers in Four States

Engineered stone countertops, also known as “quartz surfacing,” are made from quartz aggregate held together with a resin binder. These materials are similar in appearance to natural stone and have become increasingly popular for use in home building and home improvement. Quartz surface imports to the United States have increased approximately 800% during 2010–2018 (U.S. International Trade Commission). Engineered stone materials may contain substantially more crystalline silica than natural stone (>90%, compared with <45% in granite) (OSHA/NIOSH Hazard Alert). Tasks such as cutting, grinding, polishing, and drilling can release hazardous levels of silica dust into the air. Inhalation of dust