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MSHA Issues Final Rule to Reduce Crystalline Silica Exposure for Miners

EMSL Analytical provides industrial hygiene, environmental and material testing services to identify crystalline silica to help protect miners and other workers and to assist companies in complying with health and safety regulations.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey – WEBWIRE

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced a final rule to better protect miners from health hazards associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica, also known as silica dust or quartz dust.

According to MSHA:

Inhalation of respirable crystalline silica, a carcinogen, can cause serious lung and other diseases, such as silicosis, lung cancer, progressive massive fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and kidney disease. Exposure to mixed coal mine dust containing respirable crystalline silica can lead to the development of black lung disease and progressive massive fibrosis. These diseases are irreversible and can be fatal. They are also preventable.

The final rule lowers the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air for a full-shift exposure, calculated as an 8-hour time-weighted average. The final rule also:

  • Requires mine operators to use engineering controls to prevent miners’ overexposures to silica dust and use dust samplings and environmental evaluations to monitor exposures.
  • Compels metal and nonmetal mine operators to establish medical surveillance programs to provide periodic health examinations at no cost to miners.
  • Replaces an outdated standard for respiratory protection with a new standard reflecting the latest advances in respiratory protection and practices.

“MSHA claims the final rule will result in an estimated total of 1,067 lifetime avoided deaths and 3,746 lifetime avoided cases of silica-related illnesses,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “With decades of experience identifying respirable crystalline silica, EMSL offers industrial hygiene, environmental, and material testing services to identify these types of occupational exposure risks to help companies meet the new requirements. We also provide sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments, and a wide selection of personal protective equipment to protect workers.”

To learn more about testing for crystalline silica or for access to sampling supplies, air monitoring instruments, and personal protective equipment, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Crystalline Silica
 Silica Testing
 Exposure Limit
 Occupational Health

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