OSHA has stated new rules on the use of silica because of the risk connected with exposure. Silica dust is found in many materials commonly used in construction, it is now being labeled as a health hazard. There are connections between exposure with silica and silicosis, kidney disease, respiratory diseases and various auto-immune diseases.
To fix this issue, OSHA has halved the previous exposure limit from 100μg/m3 to 50μg/m3. The final rule that has been effective since June 23, 2016 has also included other terms. These terms include exposure assessments, respiratory protection, medical control, record keeping and hazard communication. As a result of this, OSHA is saving 600 lives in addition to 900 silicosis cases every year in the United States.
The impact does not end here. There has been a reported rise of silicosis in many other places. This first step in the right direction for the United States. Other nations should be following their lead soon, to decrease health issues worldwide.