What kind of countertop is the least eco-friendly?

Apparently any kind of "engineered stone" countertops, which have exploded in popularity over the last decade, are highly likely to expose the workers to a debilitating and deadly disease called silicosis...
"From 2010 to 2018, imports of the material rose about 800%.

Manufacturers say the material is preferable to natural stone because it's less likely to crack or stain. Companies make their engineered stone by embedding bits of quartz in a resin binder, and that means it's almost entirely composed of crystalline .

Engineered stone typically contains over 90% silica. Granite usually contains less than 45% silica. Marble usually contains less than 10%.

A new report on 18 cases of illness, including two deaths, among people who worked principally with engineered stone in California, Colorado, Texas and Washington. The workers were nearly all Hispanic, almost all were men, and most had "severe, progressive disease.

"I am concerned that what we may be seeing here may just be the tip of the iceberg," says Dr. Amy Heinzerling, an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who is assigned to the California Department of Public Health."

So far, 18 cases of silicosis have been reported by stone fabrication workers across four states, two of them fatal. Several of those patients also had autoimmune disease and latent tuberculosis infection.


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