Industrial Hygiene News — (Featuring APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin) The U.S. Department of Labor announces new respirable silica dust regulations
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on March 24, 2016, a final rule to improve protections for workers exposed to respirable silica dust. The rule amends 1971 silica exposure regulations that were, according to the Department of Labor (DOL), out of date the day they were passed will curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. “This is an important day for workers, employers, and science. Public policy should reflect scientific understanding just as it does with issues such as seatbelts and tobacco.” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez at a press conference announcing the final rule. “Americans have a right to go to work and come home safe and sound. Silica has been undermining that basic bargain.”

EHS Today — (Featuring APHA Occupational Health and Safety Section member Rosemary Sokas) Industry associations back final rule on silica
The U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule on silica exposure is receiving a welcome reception from industry groups. The rule, which limits exposure to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air, puts in place recommendations the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health made in 1974. Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), called the new standard “a welcome and long overdue step towards safer job sites.”

Reuters — Genetic study tracks start of Zika’s invasion of Americas back to 2013
The Zika virus currently sweeping through the Americas looks to have hitched a ride on a plane into Brazil in 2013 and begun its invasion of the continent from there, scientists said on Thursday. In the first genome analysis of the current Zika epidemic, which has been linked in Brazil to cases of birth defects known as microcephaly, researchers said the virus’ introduction to the Americas almost three years ago coincided with a 50 percent rise in air passengers from Zika-affected areas.

Medical Xpress — New immunotherapy trial for Type 1 diabetes
The search for a treatment for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) – which affects over 400,000 people in the UK – will be stepped up with the start of a new phase one clinical trial at Guy’s Hospital in London. The new immunotherapy treatment, called MultiPepT1De, is being developed to target the autoimmune attack that leads to the development of Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which cells in the pancreas that make insulin are killed by the immune system.