Of the 6500 workers in the manufactured stone industry tested for silicosis in NSW almost half go undetected when using outdated technology such as X-rays. The use of X-rays fails to detect silicosis 40% of cases.
With the help of iCare, the New South Wales government has been conducting lung tests on workers exposed to dust from manufactured stone. Workers are highly likely to develop silicosis as a result of exposure to the dust created from both wet and dry cutting.
iCare travel across the State testing for silicosis in manufactured stone workers. They use X-rays as the method of detection despite evidence from the Royal College of Radiologists finding that the use of low dose CT more effective.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said:
“There have been over 6,500 workers screened for silicosis using x-rays and this screening has missed almost half of the silicosis cases.
“Silicosis from the dust created by cutting manufactured stone can be particularly aggressive, striking down workers in their 20’s and 30’s.
“We now have the clearest possible evidence that lung screening needs to move immediately from x-rays to low dose CT scans to ensure not a single case is undiagnosed.
“We have known for some time that x-rays are a substandard diagnostic tool, but the state government has refused to invest in the mobile cut-technology on its much publicised lung bus.
“As soon as the CT technology is installed there needs to be a comprehensive effort to retest the thousands of workers already on the system, and that testing needs to be free of charge.
“There can’t be any more delay or any more excuses, there are literally hundreds of lives at risk,” Mr Shoebridge