Just don't rub them together right.
Use of soapstone for construction purposes should not cause acute toxic effects. However, inhaling respirable dust may aggravate existing respiratory system disease(s) and/or dysfunctions. Exposure to dust may aggravate existing eye conditions.
Effects of Chronic Exposure to Soapstone Dust
Quartz is a natural constituent of the Earth’s crust and is not chemically combined with any other substance. Soapstone usually contains less than 2% silica. Exposure to silica- containing dust at any time poses a potential health hazard. Repeated overexposure to very high levels of respirable crystalline silica (quartz, cristobalite, tridymite) for periods of six months or more have caused acute silicosis, and repeated exposure to dust may result in talc pneumoconiosis. Not all individuals with silicosis will exhibit symptoms (signs) of the disease. Acute silicosis is a rapidly progressive, incurable lung disease that is typically fatal. Symptoms can appear at any time, even years after exposure has ceased. Symptoms include (but are not limited to): shortness of breath, diminished work capacity, cough, fever, right heart enlargement and/or failure, weight loss, and chest pain. Excessive inhalation of dust may result in respiratory disease, including silicosis, pneumoconiosis, and pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs). Persons with silicosis have an increased risk of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) infection. Smoking may increase the risk of developing lung disorders, including emphysema and lung cancer. Respirable dust containing newly broken silica particles has been shown to be more hazardous to animals in laboratory tests than respirable dust containing older silica particles of similar size.