Labor and Economic Opportunity
MIOSHA has adopted new federal requirements that will protect Michigan employees from the harmful effects of breathing respirable crystalline silica in the workplace. Scientific evidence showed the need for change. Silica exposure limits were based on research from the 1960s and the old exposure limits do not adequately protect worker health. Breathing silica dust can cause silicosis, a disabling, non-reversible and sometimes fatal lung disease; other non-malignant respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis; lung cancer; kidney disease; and it may be associated with auto-immune disorders and cardiovascular disease. Michigan is one of the top ranked states for the number of reported cases of silicosis through state surveillance systems. Nationally, the death rate attributed to silicosis has been increasing since 2011.