Dry processing of artificial stone is a highly hazardous work practice that has been reported in association with silicosis in many countries.

“Among 544 stone benchtop industry workers screened, 95% worked with artificial stone … 117 (28.2% were diagnosed with silicosis (median age at diagnosis 42.1 years), and all were male”… Ryan F. Hoy, MD. Occup Environ Med 2023; 80: 439-446.

Greg Vigna, MD, JD, national pharmaceutical and product liability injury attorney, “The first Australian case of silicosis that was associated with artificial stone benchtop fabrication was in 2015. Now there have been 579 cases identified according to Dr. Hoy. Silicosis, acute or chronic, is a bad injury.”

Dr. Vigna, “Hawk’s Nest is happening all over the world, anywhere there is artificial stone fabrication, cutting, and installing. The Hawk’s Nest debacle refers to injuries and deaths that occurred to workers digging a 3-mile tunnel through Gauley Mountain, West Virginia with no protection from silica dust that was released when they were drilling rock with abnormally high levels of silica in the 1930s. Out of 2,500 workers exposed in Hawk’s Nest, there were 764 deaths from acute silicosis.”

Dr. Vigna adds, “Artificial stone has elevated silica levels when compared with natural stones. Silica dust at the time of cutting at the bench top is responsible for acute and chronic silicosis. That artificial rock and the increased levels of silica, when compared with natural rock, makes it a dangerous product.”

Dr. Vigna, “The money cost of a double lung transplant in 2017 is $1,190,700. It is a brutal diagnosis for those who have acute fulminant silicosis and chronic silicosis. The Australian study revealed that 117 out of 544 workers tested positive for silicosis by radiographic criteria with high-definition CT scan and 95% of those screened were exposed to artificial stone.”

Dr. Ryan F Hoy, the lead author, also wrote:

“Urgent action is required to improve occupational health and safety measures in the stone benchtop industry. Dry processing of artificial stone is a highly hazardous work practice that has been reported in association with silicosis from many countries.”

To see Dr. Ryan F. Hoy: It is freely available content on Google Scholar:

To learn more about silicosis, click here.

Dr. Vigna is a California and Washington DC lawyer who is investigating lung injury cases for those injured in the stone benchtop industry and exposed to artificial stone dust. Ben Martin is a national pharmaceutical injury attorney in Dallas, Texas. The lawyers represent the most severely injured in courts across the country. Dr. Vigna has legal offices in San Jose, California and Los Angeles.


Greg Vigna, MD, JD
Vigna Law Group
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