Sand is a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, but breathing in too much of it can be deadly. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised an alarm in 2012 that workers at fracking sites in Colorado were being exposed to high silica dust levels.
OSHA has been trying to toughen its silica standards since 1974, a proposition that has been opposed by the oil and gas industry. However, some companies are embracing new technology that controls dust at drilling sites, which one company spokesperson said will become a new industry standard.
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