Silicosis In U.S. Countertop Workers Some workers in the U.S. are suffer lung damage after cutting a relatively new kind of countertop material.
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Silicosis In U.S. Countertop Workers

The Cambria factory in Minnesota manufactures slabs of engineered quartz for kitchen and bathroom countertops. If businesses don't follow worker protection rules, cutting these slabs to fit customers' kitchens can release lung-damaging silica dust. Cambria hide caption

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Cambria

'There's No Good Dust': What Happens After Quartz Countertops Leave The Factory

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Samples of Silestone, a countertop material made of quartz. Cutting the material releases dangerous silica dust that can damage people's lungs if the exposure to the dust is not properly controlled. Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

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Catie Dull/NPR

'It's Going To Get Worse': How U.S. Countertop Workers Started Getting Sick

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A colored X-ray of the lungs of a patient with silicosis, a type of pneumoconiosis. The yellow grainy masses in the lungs are areas of scarred tissue and inflammation. CNRI/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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CNRI/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

A worker cuts black granite to make a countertop. Though granite, marble and "engineered stone" all can produce harmful silica dust when cut, ground or polished, the artificial stone typically contains much more silica, says a CDC researcher tracking cases of silicosis. danishkhan/Getty Images hide caption

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Workers Are Falling Ill, Even Dying, After Making Kitchen Countertops

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