Crystalline Silica: OSHA’s Quest for Re-regulation

A recent article entitled “Long Overdue” in September 2013’s Safety Health Magazine details new information on crystalline silica.

Continued exposure to crystalline silica causes a myriad of lung-related disorders.  Since 1971, the regulations for exposure limits have remained the same yet a battle is ensuing between OSHA and industry stakeholders over the proposed reduction of Permissible Exposure Limit, or PEL of crystalline silica. More than 40 years after the current limits were put into place, OSHA is proposing to cut the PEL in half for construction, maritime and general industries.

While stakeholders agree with the introduction of additional training and monitoring medical exams, they question the ability to accurately measure such low concentrations. Interestingly enough, the American Chemistry Council’s Crystalline Silica Panel agrees that a change in regulation would be problematic and that the current standards should be maintained.

The underlying issue is balancing healthy working conditions for employees while remaining feasible for business owners.  Whatever the outcome, IVI is committed to helping companies comply with their indoor and outdoor ventilation needs thereby protecting the lives of those who are exposed to crystalline silica.


Categories: Foundry Industry