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Online trolls bullied dying Qld tradie

A Gold Coast stonecutter who died from silicosis was bullied and taunted by online trolls as he tried to raise awareness of the occupational lung disease.

Anthony White in November 2017 became the face of the silicosis fight after being diagnosed with the disease, which is caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust.

He took to social media to warn others of the potential danger only be tormented by trolls who told him he should have left the industry if he thought it was dangerous, his family says.

Shane Parata said it depressed and demoralised his brother who eventually shut down his social media accounts.

"He didn't want to be out in the spotlight at the start of all this but he saw the bigger purpose and that was to raise awareness," Mr Parata told AAP.

"He got himself out there but he copped a lot of flak for it. It didn't help his state of mind, that's for sure."

Within months of closing his accounts, Anthony's health began to improve and he was put back on the waiting list for a lung transplant.

He felt well enough to go out last Friday night for dinner, and to play the pokies for a few hours.

In the early hours of Saturday, pub staff noticed he was missing and kicked in the door to the bathroom where they found him unconscious.

Paramedics were called, but he could not be revived. He is believed to be the first tradie to die of silicosis in Australia.

Mr Parata, who was also diagnosed with the same disease just days before Anthony's death, believed his brother just couldn't get enough air in his badly-scarred lungs.

The brothers had worked side by side for years before contracting the disease caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica dust which settle in the lungs.

The particles are found in engineered stone, made of about 90 per cent crystalline silica, a common substitute for marble benchtops

"We were always safe - always wore the safety gear but it wasn't enough. You'd make a cut and there would be dust everywhere," Mr Parata said.

"You couldn't get away from it."

Mr Parata has vowed to continue his brother's fight to ban the product from the Australian building industry as tradies around the country undergo testing.

"That's the proudest part of Ant's story - that people are starting to recognise it and are coming out and getting themselves tested.

"He could see that what he stared, was working. It wasn't all in vain but it's too late for some. I have no doubt more people will die, it's just a matter of time."

Doctors have repeatedly warned of the scale of the unfolding crisis, and there have been calls for a national approach to the issue.

Federal Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer did not respond calls from AAP for comment