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DOL/MSHA RIN: 1219-AB36 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: Respirable Crystalline Silica (Quartz) 

Metal and nonmetal miners and coal miners exposed to quartz in respirable dust can develop lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and various forms on pneumoconiosis, such as silicosis, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, progressive massive fibrosis, and rapidly progressive pneumoconiosis. These lung diseases are irreversible and may ultimately be fatal. MSHA’s existing standards limit miners’ exposures to quartz in respirable dust. MSHA’s metal and nonmetal mine standards are based on the 1973 American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values formula: 10 mg/m3 divided by the percentage of silica plus 2. MSHA’s existing coal mine standards evaluate miners’ exposure to quartz in relation to the respirable dust standard. When respirable coal mine dust samples are analyzed for quartz and exceed 0.1 mg/m3 (100 micrograms per cubic meter of air or µg/m3), the Agency reduces the applicable respirable dust standard for sections of the mine represented by the sample data.  MSHA will publish a proposed rule to address miners' exposure to respirable quartz.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Regulatory 
CFR Citation: 30 CFR 56    30 CFR 57    30 CFR 70    30 CFR 71    30 CFR 72    30 CFR 90   
Legal Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI)  08/29/2019  84 FR 45452   
RFI Comment Period End  10/28/2019 
NPRM  08/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Roslyn B. Fontaine
Deputy Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
201 12th Street S, Suite 401,
Arlington, VA 22202
Phone:202 693-9440
Fax:202 693-9441