NSW trials silica dust testing device in a world first

Published: 29 Nov 2021


New technology that detects dangerous levels of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the air, has commenced its first Australian field trials in Sydney.

Stone being cut with an electric saw in a workshop

The new detector is part of the NSW Dust Strategy 2020-22 to protect workers from dust diseases such as silicosis, which is caused by breathing in RCS particles, and asbestosis.

It is expected this prototype will accurately detect particles by analysing incoming data to provide a milligram per cubic meter reading in real time, and a feature that alerts workers if they are in danger.

Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson said the device will be instrumental in reducing cases of silicosis in NSW.

“When we began this project there was nothing on the market that could accurately detect RCS instantly, so our world-first device will be a game changer for anyone working with stone,” Mr Anderson said.

The device is expected to be commercially available by mid- 2022.

Read more about the NSW Dust Strategy

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