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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tweet up a storm, save some lives

Alliance for Justice is a member of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, a group that fights back against a big business war on regulation which, as the CSS website puts it:  “diminishes economic well-being, undermines public health and safety, and allows special interests to escape accountability for their actions.”

OSHA graphic
Today marks the sad anniversary of a case in point.  Two years ago today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration submitted a draft rule to reduce exposure to silica dust from sand,  which can lead to silicosis, a chronic, incurable, sometimes fatal lung disease.  Exposure to silica dust also increases the risk of lung cancer and other diseases.

As with all such proposed regulations, this one was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.  That’s supposed to take no more than 135 days.  It’s now been 731 days, with no action from OMB, although there have been nine closed-door meetings with industry groups like the National Industrial Sand Association.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote about one casualty of silicosis at The Huffington Post:

Tom Ward was 13 when his father came home from what would be his last day of work. Ward's father "barely made it through the door, fell to the floor and, between tears, said, 'I can't do it anymore.'"

Later that year, at age 39, Ward's father suffocated to death -- the effect of silicosis. His work as a sandblaster had exposed him to cancer-causing silica dust.

How can you help? By kicking up a storm – a tweet storm that is -- on Thursday, February 14.  Join in the effort to call attention to the need for this rule on Twitter.

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