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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AB70 Publication ID: Fall 1999 
Title: Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica 
Abstract: Silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly 2 million U.S. workers, including more than 100,000 workers in high risk jobs such as abrasive blasting, foundry work, stonecutting, rock drilling, quarry work and tunneling. The seriousness of the health hazards associated with silica exposure is demonstrated by the fatalities and disabling illnesses that continue to occur in sandblasters and rock drillers and by recent studies that demonstrate a statistically significant increase in lung cancer among silica-exposed workers. In October 1996, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified crystalline silica as "carcinogenic to humans." Exposure studies indicate that some workers are still exposed to very high levels of silica. Although OSHA currently has a permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica (10mg/m3 divided by the percent of silica in the dust + 2 respirable), more than 30 percent of OSHA-collected silica samples from 1982 through 1991 exceeded this limit. Additionally recent studies suggest that the current OSHA standard is insufficient to protect against silicosis. OSHA plans to publish a proposed rule on crystalline silica under section 6(b)(5) of the Act. The standard would protect silica-exposed workers in general industry, construction and maritime. 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910    29 CFR 1926    29 CFR 1915    29 CFR 1916    29 CFR 1917    29 CFR 1918   
Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b)    29 USC 657   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  06/00/2000    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
Agency Contact:
Steven F. Witt
Director, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs
Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3700, FP Building,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-2200
Fax:202 693-1671