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Silica-dust deaths inquiry launches

25 July 2019

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched by MPs into the impact of silicosis - a life-shortening lung disease. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Respiratory Health has announced it is seeking to find out why so many construction and refurbishment workers are dying from silicosis, caused by the inhalation of silica dust.

According to the APPG, silica dust represents the second biggest health risk to construction workers after asbestos. It is released when stone, bricks or concrete, are cut or broken. Silica dust can be released when chasing certain walls, for example.

Workers that are exposed to high levels of silica dust can suffer from chronic breathing difficulties, which can significantly affect their quality of life and in some cases lead to death.

The news follows the Health and Safety Executive’s announcement last month that it would increase its testing of dust levels at construction sites. Statistics indicate work-related lung diseases linked to previous exposure to dust and asbestos is estimated to kill around 12,000 workers in the UK every year.

Calls for evidence close on August 31 2019, and can be sent onto APPG coordinator High McKinney -

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