Silicosis in employees in the processing of kitchen, bar and shop countertops made from quartz resin composite. Provisional results of the environmental and health survey conducted within the territory of USL 11 of Empoli in Tuscany among employees in the


  • Dusca Bartoli
  • Bruno Banchi
  • Francesco Di Benedetto
  • Giuseppe Antonio Farina
  • Tonina Enza Iaia
  • Carla Poli
  • Maurizio Romanelli
  • Giuseppina Scancarello
  • Marzia Tarchi


In the territory of USL 11 Empoli, Tuscany, 22 companies are active in working stone, eight of them also work in composite
materials, synthetic resin and quartz, mainly used to produce countertops, bathrooms, counters of stores, etc..
These materials commonly contain more than 90% of quartz and are processed in the same manner as natural materials.
Dry machining, which give rise to high production of dust, is present in the working cycle. Environmental investigations
were conducted in the two companies that used mainly these materials detecting very high values of exposure to quartz
among the workers. Workers were required to be seen, running or revising the Chest Rx according to ILO-BIT. Seven
cases of silicosis have been highlighted, one of which is severe, in a group of twenty-nine workers. The review of the literature
shows a significant risk among those workers involved in the processing of these materials, with severe cases of
silicosis arising in young subjects with relatively short seniority and that often lead to lung transplantation.