New test findings have confirmed 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.

The AIR XS Silica Monitor, developed by leading workplace safety technology company, Trolex is designed to protect Australians against lung diseases such as silicosis by providing real-time readings of levels of crystalline silica in the air.

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

AIR XS can improve worker safety by providing instant information to workers exposed to RCS, instead of having to wait up to four weeks to know their level of exposure to the dust.

While the Australian government recently implemented a ban on engineered stone, commencing 1 July 2024, most synonymous with creating silica dust, this ban alone will not solve the current health crisis caused by RCS, according to Trolex group CEO, Glyn Pierce-Jones (pictured above).

“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.

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

“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,” Pierce-Jones added.

“Our AIR XS 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.”