OMB meets with industry on silica standard

Washington – Department of Labor and industry representatives have hosted three meetings in recent weeks to discuss OSHA’s proposed rule on crystalline silica, according to newly released data from the Office of Management and Budget.

The proposed rule would update OSHA’s existing crystalline silica standard by revising the permissible exposure limit for the mineral compound. OSHA started the rulemaking process 14 years ago.

OMB began its review of the rule (a process that can take up to 90 days) on Feb. 14, and hosted meetings March 31, April 7 and April 19. Representatives from government agencies, industry advocacy groups and a few select employers attended the meetings.

The American Chemistry Council Crystalline Silica Panel submitted a report (.pdf file) that was critical of OSHA’s proposed rule, suggesting the rule would be costly for businesses to comply with and would offer few benefits.

Other documents submitted during the meetings included scientific reports, a few of which indicated increased exposure to some types of crystalline silica may lead to a greater risk of developing silicosis, a deadly respiratory disease.

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