News Release USDL: 97-98
Wednesday, March 19, 1997
Contact (MSHA): Amy Louviere, (703) 235-1452
Contact (OSHA): Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
National Conference Highlights Best Methods
Of Eliminating Silicosis
Best practices to prevent silicosis -- a disabling, sometimes fatal lung disease
caused by overexposure to silicia dust -- will be the focus of a conference March 25 and
26, 1997, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Lung Association. At least 100,000
workers in construction, mining and other "dusty trades" are
at high risk of silica dust overexposure. Each year more than 250 workers die with silicosis.
The "1997 National Conference to Eliminate Silicosis," will
be held at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Conference
hours are 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both days.
Acting Labor Secretary Cynthia Metzler will deliver the keynote address
on Tuesday, March 25, at 8:30 a.m. The luncheon speaker on Wednesday, March 26, at 1:00
p.m., will be Herb O'Connor, producer of ABC's Nightline. Other
speakers include J. Davitt McAteer, assistant labor secretary for mine safety and
health; Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H., director of NIOSH; Gregory R. Watchman, acting assistant
labor secretary for occupational safety and health; and Leo W. Gerard, international
secretary-treasurer of the United Steelworkers of America.
The 20 scheduled workshops will cover best practices for
workers, using medical surveillance to target silicosis prevention efforts, respiratory
protection, the benefits of silicosis prevention, profiles of successful prevention
programs, and much more. Several hundred business and labor representatives are already registered and
will participate in the workshop discussions.
For further information about the conference, contact
Donna Green at the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration, (703) 235-2625.