Preeti Maharjan

Student, The University of Adelaide

I am Preeti Maharjan originally from Nepal, a country of mountains. I am a postgraduate public health student at The University of Adelaide under Australia Award Scholarship by the Department of Foreign Aid and Trade. I have a keen interest in occupational and environmental health. Prior to this, I completed my degree in Medical Microbiology and worked in a Mycobacterial Research Laboratories located in Nepal, under The Leprosy Mission UK for 4.5 years as Research Technical Officer. I worked in the community and laboratory research projects on neglected tropical diseases such as Leprosy and helminths.


Background: Engineered stone (ES) workers have increased rates of silicosis and scleroderma. Notably accelerated silicosis has been observed and thought to be related to ES constituents such as crystalline silica and binding resin. The aetiology of ES-related silicosis initially involves interaction of stone dust with interstitial and intracellular lung fluids. There appears to be no reported biosolubility study of ES dusts. The aim of this study was to investigate the biosolubility of engineered stone dusts, of variable composition, including both high and low resin content. Method : A range of engineered stone dust samples, obtained by low temperature comminution of commercial ES, were reacted with simulated lung fluids (SLF), namely artificial lysosomal fluid (ALF) and Gambles solution, for periods of 3 hours, 1 week, 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Changes in organic and inorganic content of SLF and stone dust were assessed. Results: Early findings indicated that the degree and type of metal ions release varied with engineered stone type and the type of SLF. In general, greater changes were observed with ALF, likely due to lower pH and a greater potential for metal chelation. Conclusion: A systematic investigation of the engineered stone dust is required to understand the pathogenesis of accelerated silicosis.

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Thursday 3rd Dec Day 4

Biosolubility of Engineered Stone in Simulated Lung Fluids