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

Trolex 3 mins read

New test findings released today, 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.

The AIR XS Silica Monitor was developed by Trolex, a leading workplace safety technology company, and 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 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, the process most synonymous with creating silica dust, Group CEO of UK-based Trolex, 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[1] 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 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.”

Aleks Todorovic, Managing Director, from Active Environmental Solutions (AES), the Australian distributor of the product, commented “In the two years we’ve been supplying the AIR XS, we’ve seen how simple it is to set up and how effective it can be in providing real-time data to our customers. This allows them to respond instantly to dangerous levels of RCS and to provide the best controls and safety procedures to protect their workers.”

More information on the AIR XS can be found via


[1] Lung Foundation Australia, Silica dust exposure: What is it and what can you do about it?

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