OSHA’s crystalline silica rule close to publication

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Washington – A proposed rule for occupational exposure to crystalline silica is scheduled for publication in April.

In the works since at least 1997, the rule was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review on Feb. 14. It would update OSHA’s current crystalline silica standards, which have permissible exposure limits for general industry, construction and shipyards based on 40-year-old formulas – some of which are considered obsolete.

Crystalline silica is a component of soil made of minerals that can be found in many industries. Exposure to it can cause silicosis, a fatal respiratory disease.

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