The following is an abridgement of a media statement originally published on the Queensland Government website.
Queensland’s campaign to ban engineered stone, a product that can cause silicosis, has gained support from major retailers like Bunnings and IKEA. The retailers have announced plans to phase out sales of the dangerous product.
Engineered stone is a type of artificial stone that is used for benchtops and other surfaces. It contains a high percentage of silica, a mineral that can cause serious lung diseases when inhaled as dust. Silicosis is a condition that scars the lungs and makes breathing difficult. It can be fatal and has no cure.
Queensland has been leading the way in tackling the issue of engineered stone since 2018. The state has taken various actions, such as:
Bunnings and IKEA are two of the major retailers that have joined Queensland’s campaign on engineered stone. They have announced that they will phase out sales of the product in their stores. Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has welcomed their strong leadership and encouraged other suppliers to follow their example. She said that Queensland will continue to advocate for a ban on engineered stone and work with all jurisdictions to achieve this. She said that there is nothing more important than protecting workers on the job.
“All workers have a right to turn up to a safe and healthy workplace which is why Queensland has long been calling for a ban on engineered stone."
“This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces."
Major retailers join Queensland’s engineered stone campaign by Queensland Government, 15th November, 2023.