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OSHA to publish final standard for crystalline silica

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will soon publish a final workplace exposure standard for crystalline silica that will cut the permissible exposure limit in half. The final rule was issued this morning by US Secretary of Labour Rhomas Perez.

NSSGA and the aggregates industry are committed to preventing adverse health affects that are associated with the inhalation of crystalline silica. The standard will reduce the exposure limit from 100 micrograms per cubic metre of air to 50 microgram limit per cubic meter over an eight-hour period.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that silicosis mortality fell by more than 90 percent from 1968 to 2010 as the current PEL has been in effect. This shows that achieving full compliance with, and enforcement of, the current general industry PEL for quartz is the best and most cost-effective way to protect silica-exposed workers.

“The current exposure limit sufficiently protects worker health when fully adhered to and enforced. There is no sound science to show that lowering it to the levels mandated by this rule would meaningfully improve worker protection, but it will add tremendous expense for employers and cost jobs,” said Pam Whitted, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs.

Adapted from press release by

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