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News Release USDL: 97-209
Thursday, June 19, 1997
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151

OSHA To Conduct Silicosis Cyber-Conference

The campaign to eliminate silicosis--a disabling occupational lung disease that can be fatal---will advance to cyberspace, starting July 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced today.

The Silicosis Cyber-Conference will include scientific papers, interactive chat forums, and multi-media presentations.

It is an extension of the March 25-26, 1997, National Conference to Eliminate Silicosis in Washington, D.C., under the sponsorship of OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the American Lung Association, that was attended by more than 600 industry, labor, government and health representatives. The Internet conference also is part of OSHA's national special emphasis program on silicosis.

"This cyber-conference will provide a unique and economical opportunity for all those who were unable to attend the Washington conference in March," said Gregory R. Watchman, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "People from around the world will be able to exchange information about problems of silicosis and their solutions."

More than a million Americans work in jobs where they are exposed to silica dust. About 100,000 of them are at high risk of developing silicosis because they are in construction jobs where they sandblast or cut, grind or break concrete, or are in foundry work, railroad track laying or maintenance, glass, ceramics, abrasives or soap manufacturing, or are in mining. More than 250 workers die with silicosis annually.

Continued exposure to silica dust can lead to the respiratory disease. There is no cure. Prevention is the only answer.

The cyber-conference will highlight the following topics:

  • General References: Silicosis Primer, Education Resources,and Outreach

  • Exposure Monitoring: Sampling and Analysis

  • Prevention: Engineering, Respiratory Protection, and Training Workers

  • Silicosis: Diagnosis, Prevalence, Medical Interventions

General information, multimedia presentations, and interactive chat forums with experts addressing issues raised by on-line participants also are planned.

Notices of the Silicosis Cyber-Conference will be posted on the OSHA home page on the Internet ( under the technical information link. Persons interested in presenting papers or participating in forum discussions should contact Ray Abel at or Mike Shulsky at or at the OSHA Salt Lake City, Utah, Technical Center at 801-487-0073. The Salt Lake Technical Center is coordinating the cyber-conference.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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