New Rule to Protect Workers By Lowering Limit for Silica Dust - NBC Bay Area

New Rule Lowers Silica Dust Limit to Protect Workers

Some groups say they will fight the new rule in court and in Congress



    New Rule to Protect Workers By Lowering Limit for Silica Dust
    Alejandro Zuniga, from Houston, Texas, joins other demonstrators outside the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, in this Friday, June 5, 2015, file photo.

    Regulators announced a rule to increase workplace protections against exposure to crystalline silica, a carcinogenic dust found in construction, foundries and fracking, NBC News reported.

    Issued Thursday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the rule — which takes effect immediately — lowers the exposure limit for silica dust to 50 grams per cubic meter of air. The rule also requires employers to monitor for silica in the workplace, use methods to reduce exposure and provide medical exams to workers.

    Some groups have vowed to fight the rule in court and in Congress. They say it's unnecessary and warn that compliance will come at a hefty price.

    OSHA said 2.3 million American workers are exposed to silica dust, and that the rule would save about 600 lives and prevent 900 cases of silica-related illnesses annually.