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New Restrictions On Deadly Silica Dust, 40 Years In The Making04:29Download

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A worker wearing a respirator mask pours a bag of concrete mix into a hopper at the 3 World Trade Center construction site, Monday, April 14, 2014 in New York. Three World Trade Center, now up to seven floors, will be 80 stories when completed. (Mark Lennihan/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
A worker wearing a respirator mask pours a bag of concrete mix into a hopper at the 3 World Trade Center construction site, Monday, April 14, 2014 in New York. Three World Trade Center, now up to seven floors, will be 80 stories when completed. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

It took more than 40 years, but federal regulators have finally issued new rules limiting worker exposure to a dangerous mineral known as silica. Silica is found naturally all over the globe, but when it gets stirred up in mines and on construction sites it can destroy the lungs of anyone who breathes it in.

OSHA regulators have lowered the level of acceptable exposure, saying it would save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars every year. But the construction industry isn't pleased. Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Rosemary Sokas, chair of the Department of Human Science at Georgetown University's School of Nursing & Health Studies.

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This segment aired on March 30, 2016.

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