At Long Last, Workers Will Get More Protection From Silica Dust

Statement by Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Mar 24, 2016

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2016)—For the first time since the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new, stronger rule for exposure to silica dust, protecting millions of workers from a common hazard. This long-overdue update will save lives and prevent illnesses, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Gretchen Goldman, lead analyst for the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for a final silica dust rule that reflects the science. Public health experts have been pushing the administration to lower the threshold for silica dust exposure, which can cause serious and even fatal health problems. It’s a relief that the Labor Department finally issued a rule that can protect the more than 2 million workers who are exposed to silica dust on the job.

“Federal agencies need to listen to the science and do their job in protecting public health, without interference from industry.”