Monday, August 31, 2009

Upcoming Workshop : Silica Hazards in Construction and Mining: Reducing Exposures and Preventing Disease

Currently the International Work-to-Live Project is working with OK International ( on hosting a National level meeting in New Delhi, India to build grassroots level awareness around environmental health issues. In cooperation with the Public Health Foundation of India, the World Bank, and various corporate partners, we are organizing a this workshop to encourage the adoption of pollution control technologies in construction and mining operations. These controls which have been pilot tested in India will reduce the risk of silicosis, cancer and tuberculosis (TB) among exposed workers. In light of the recent Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission actions on silicosis, we are planning to bring together public health experts, industry representatives, government, multi-lateral aid agencies, and impacted communities to increase the awareness of silica hazards and the availability of pollution control technologies to reduce these hazards.

Intent of Workshop

The intent of the workshop is to raise awareness among key stakeholders and encourage the adoption of model specifications for the procurement of stone from facilities that control silica emissions. Additional policy options to reduce silica related disease will be discussed with the purpose of outlining specific initiatives to accomplish these goals Specific outcomes from the meeting will include

· Adoption of model specifications, created with input from various stakeholders, for the procurement of stone.

· An action plan to improve and expand outreach and education programs including the dissemination of model stone crushing procurement specifications.

· A list of specific, policy recommendations (including preferred purchasing programs) to promote the use of dust-control technologies.

In addition, we plan to implement the following strategies to promote the adoption of pollution control technologies in this industry:

· Work with government to plan a coordinated response among health, environment and transport ministries;

· Design policies and economic incentives such as preferred purchasing programs to encourage mill owners to install dust controls; and

· Build capacity among Indian NGOs, health professionals, government, trade associations, and others to disseminate this information through regional training seminars and local demonstration projects.