New testing proves efficacy of real-time silica monitor that could save thousands of lives

New test findings released, confirm the efficacy of a world-first real-time monitor for silica dust, which represents a revolution in the protection for workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust.  

As a leading workplace safety technology company, we have developed the AIR XS Silica Monitor, designed to protect workers against lung diseases such as silicosis by providing real-time readings of levels of crystalline silica in the air.  

We have recently commissioned a leading occupational hygiene and laboratory testing organisation to conduct independent testing of the AIR XS. The results show the AIR XS repeatedly provided consistent, accurate, real-time data throughout an eight-hour testing period.  

The testing demonstrates that AIR XS can improve worker safety by providing instant information to businesses and workers exposed to RCS, instead of having to wait up to four weeks to know their level of exposure to this killer dust, which is the current industry standard.  

While the Australian Government recently implemented a ban on engineered stone, commencing 1 July 2024, the process most synonymous with creating silica dust, Group CEO Glyn Pierce-Jones said this ban alone would not solve the current health crisis caused by RCS.  

“Silica dust is found in most building materials, so while banning engineered stone is a positive step, it’s not a holistic solution. The real issue facing the industry is the current archaic methods of testing for silica dust and the delay it causes in creating the safest possible workplace.” 

The AIR XS is already being used in Australia to monitor RCS levels in many industrial locations. 

Silica occurs naturally in soil, sand and granite; however, it is almost harmless in that state. Once those materials have been disturbed through construction or mining, silica dust is generated and can be inhaled into the lungs. This dust can cause silicosis, and other types of lung diseases and cancer, which are often irreversible and progressive. 

Recent research from The Lung Foundation showed an estimated 600,000 Australian workers and between 40-50 million workers worldwide are exposed to silica dust across a wide range of industries including quarrying, construction, tunnelling, mining and many manufacturing processes. 

The current approach to test for RCS is gravimetric sampling, the process requires collection, processing, and laboratory analysis of the sample, which is both time-consuming and costly for businesses. Direct-reading instruments offer businesses the ability to monitor employee safety on sites in real-time, eliminating the delays of weeks typically associated with potential RCS exposure. 

Mr Pierce-Jones emphasised the urgent need for enhanced safety measures for anyone who may be in contact with silica.   

“The current testing methodology for RCS only allows users to take an average reading over an eight-hour period and typically takes up to four weeks to produce a result,” Mr Pierce-Jones said. 

“Our AIR XS Silica Monitor was designed to provide an accurate reading with immediate results, letting workers know when their health is in danger and allowing employers to respond in the most efficient manner.” 

“These latest test results are another indicator of what we already knew at Trolex – that the AIR XS could be part of a desperately needed solution to an urgent health crisis.”  

Request the full testing report

You can request the full independent AIR XS testing report by following the link below.

Staggering lung disease statistics prompt urgent £5 million investment

New studies from charity ‘Asthma and Lung UK’ (ALUK) found that lung disease deaths in the UK are the highest in Western Europe.

The staggering statistics have prompted an expanded approach towards research and development of lung diseases from ALUK.

 

Serious Statistics

ALUK’s studies show that cases of lung disease related deaths in the UK have been on the rise for the past 20 years.

It is reported that 500,000 people in the UK died from deaths relating to lung diseases over a seven-year period.

In 2018 alone, 84,721 respiratory deaths were recorded in the UK.

The charity has described the state of lung health in the UK as ‘shameful’, stating the need for improved research and development solutions to the problem.

More than just numbers

After its relaunch in February, ALUK established a new five-year strategy upon the results of the study.

Lung diseases are currently the third most common cause of death in the UK and it’s currently costing the NHS £9 billion every year.

Despite this, lung-related health care is receiving less than 2% of public funding.

Dispelling the misconceptions

It is evident that the seriousness of lung problems in relation to other diseases is not taken as seriously, despite what we are seeing from the data.

A predominant factor in the poor state of the nation’s lung health is that people believe lung conditions aren’t life-threatening. This is a major misconception.

Through spreading awareness of how ‘shameful’ lung health is in the UK, this misconception can be dispelled.

ALUK aim to reduce lung disease deaths by 20% by 2027. When making everyone aware of these gruesome statistics, this can become a possibility.

The end goal is to provide support for everyone effected by all forms of lung disease.

Research and innovation as a solution

ALUK’s solution to achieving this goal is through research and innovation.

Their aim is to expand their research and innovation programme so that £5 million is being invested into relevant research each year.

With the aim to develop at least three new self-management tools” for 2 million people suffering with lung diseases, ALUK want to make training programmes and essential advice easily accessible to those who need it.

“By 2027, we will give 80% of people with lung conditions the opportunity to access our network of Breathe Easy support groups” states the ALUK Strategy to 2027.

With this, the strain on public healthcare is minimised and individuals are able to monitor their personal health through digitalised platforms and shared networks.

Looking to the future…

The statistics right now make for harrowing reading and harsh truths.

However, for ALUK, research and innovation is the solution for the future. By identifying the problem and acknowledging its severity and scale, goals can be achieved.

Through effective research and innovation lung disease deaths can become a thing of the past, not just in the UK, but worldwide.