New OSHA Standard on Silica More Protective but Science Supports Even Stricter Standard. @atscommunity

Article ID: 650380

Released: 24-Mar-2016 10:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Expert Pitch
  • Credit: ATS

    Construction workers at risk of developing silica-related lung disease

  • Credit: Dr. Guidotti

    Dr. Tee Guidotti, expert in occupational & environmental health

Newswise — ATS Expert Pitch: Comment on New OSHA Silica Standards

Expert: Tee Guidotti, MD, leader in occupational and environmental health.

Today, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration released the new silica standard. While OSHA’s new standard, the first in nearly three decades, is more protective, the science supports an even stricter standard.

Key Messages:• More than two million people – including construction workers, miners and a number of other occupations - have been exposed to toxic silica dust during their working lives and are, therefore, at risk of developing significant silica-related lung disease.• The diseases associated with silica exposure include, silicosis, lung cancer, and lung function impairment. • Toxic dust containing crystalline silica is produced whenever rock or sand are broken, drilled, or crushed. These small particles when inhaled damage cells and can result in severe lung damage.• Crystalline silica is associated with increased mortality rates from respiratory disease, including lung cancer.

“The new OSHA standard – combined with better sampling techniques, worker education and medical monitoring – will significantly reduce exposure to silica dust in the workplace and therefore prevent silica-related disease,” said Dr. Guidotti.

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