Why the New Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule?-August 2017

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety

August 2017

Why the New Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule?

Enforcement of the new Occupational Safety & Health Administration Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction is due to begins on September 23, 2017. The rule took effect on June 23, 2016, but enforcement was originally scheduled for June but was delayed by and additional three months. OSHA’s original Silica standards took effect in 1971. Since then, science has advanced and new evidence has shown that the standards do not adequately protect workers from silica related diseases. The National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), a research-based governmental organization, since 1989 has had a Recommended Exposure Limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter and the American Governmental Industrial Hygienists currently has a Threshold Limit Value of 25 micrograms per cubic meter. The new Permissible Exposure Limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter with an Action Level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
Millions of workers in the United States are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in a variety of industries and occupations. Exposure is greatest in construction, especially in activities that involve cement and concrete. Silicosis, an irreversible but preventable disease, is the illness most closely associated with occupational exposure to the material, which also is known as silica dust. Occupational exposures to respirable crystalline silica are associated with the development of silicosis, lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, and other airway diseases.
For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at www.occusafeinc.com
 OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.

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