The U.S. Department of Labor announced a new rule this week that aims to better protect workers from something called silica dust. It replaces standards that were more than 40 years old.
Silica is found in materials like sand, granite, and concrete. Breathing in too much of the dust that results from working with these materials can cause a lung disease called Silicosis and lung cancer.
The Department of Labor estimates that around 2.3 million workers like sandblasters and brick makers are exposed to silica at work.