The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) will hold a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill Feb. 15 that will focus on OSHA’s silica rule. The event, which will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET in room 1540-A in the Longworth House Office Building, will also serve as a case study of the importance of worker health and safety.

Nearly 2.3 million American workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica, or silica dust. From 2005 to 2014, these exposures resulted in or contributed to more than 1,000 deaths from silicosis, as well as additional deaths from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. Those at greatest risk work in industries such as construction, hydraulic fracturing, foundries, glass manufacturing, landscaping, and dental laboratories.

“In response and in concert with developments in the science of worker health and safety, OSHA issued a final rule to protect American workers from this hazardous dust,” according to the AIHA. “The agency projects annual net benefits of $3.8 to $7.7 billion and estimates that the rule will save more than 600 lives while preventing related illnesses.” 

AIHA Past President Daniel H. Anna, PhD, CIH, CSP, and David Michaels, PhD, MPH, who is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, will address attendees of this briefing. Other participants include Reps. Darren Soto, D-Fla., Joe Courtney, D-Conn., and Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.

AIHA will live stream the briefing via Twitter at 10 a.m. ET on February 15. Followers can join the conversation using #SilicaBriefing. In addition, AIHA will post a video of the event on February 16. For more information, please contact Mark Ames, AIHA Director of Government Relations, at