A worker in Claysville, Pa., shovels the fine powder that's part of a watery mixture used in hydraulic fracturing. Silica dust is created in a wide variety of construction and manufacturing industries, too. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Keith Srakocic/AP

Tighter, Controversial Silica Rules Aimed At Saving Workers' Lungs

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/471585412/471685052" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A memorial at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine represents the 29 coal miners who were killed in an explosion in 2010. Jeff Gentner/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Gentner/AP

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57. Courtesy of Earl Dotter hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Earl Dotter