Mining unions call upon MSHA for standard on silica dust

The United Mine Works of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers (USW) are calling on for a new standard to protect miners from silica dust.

The request was sent in a letter from Cecil Roberts, president of the UMWA and Leo W. Gerard, president of USW to David Zatezalo, head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

USW says silica is believed to be responsible for a large rise in case of black lung disease in central Appalachia.

Silica causes both lung cancer and a dust disease called silicosis, which has not been eliminated in metal and mineral mines, USW adds.

In addition, silica causes both lung cancer and silicosis, another deadly dust disease, which has not been eliminated in metal and mineral mines. OSHA set a new silica standard in 2016, cutting the permissible exposure limit in half, but MSHA has yet to follow suit.

“All miners need this standard, surface and underground, no matter what they’re mining,” says Gerard. “This Administration says they love miners. Let’s see if they mean it.”



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