Silicosis is a progressive fibrotic lung disease that is caused by the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica. Due to its high silica content, artificial stone (AS) can become a possible source of hazardous dust exposure for workers that are employed in the manufacturing, finishing, and installing of AS countertops. Therefore, the aim of this review was to verify the association between AS derived silica exposure and silicosis development, and also then define the pathological characteristics of the disease in relation to specific work practices and preventive and protective measures that were adopted in the workplace. A systematic review of articles available on Pubmed, Scopus, and Isi Web of Knowledge databases was performed. Although the characteristics of AS-associated silicosis were comparable to those that were reported for the disease in traditional silica exposure settings, some critical issues emerged concerning the general lack of suitable strategies for assessing/managing silica risks in these innovative occupational fields. Further research that is designed to assess the hazardous properties of AS dusts, levels of exposure in workplaces, and the effectiveness of protective equipment appears to be needed to increase awareness concerning AS risks and induce employers, employees, and all factory figures that are engaged in prevention to take action to define/adopt proper measures to protect the health of exposed workers.
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