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Lack of Workplace Controls for Silica Causes Concerns and Citations


Los Alamitos, CA

Recently the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed penalties of over $100,000 to a steel casting company for alleged serious and repeated workplace violations. These violations included overexposures to airborne silica and a failure to implement engineering or administrative controls for silica overexposures.

Silica is a naturally occurring mineral which can be found in amorphous or crystal forms. The crystallized form has been identified as the primary concern when considered as a health hazard for workers. Commonly referred to as ‘crystalline silica’ it exists in various forms including: quartz, cristobalite, tridymite and tripoli.

Occupational exposure to silica occurs in numerous industries including: abrasive blasting, asphalt pavement manufacturing, blast furnace operations, cement manufacturing, steel working and tunneling. Silica exposure continues to be a serious threat to over two million U.S. workers in occupations that are considered ‘higher risk’.

NIOSH reports that each year more than 250 people die from silicosis and hundreds more are disabled. There is no cure for the disease, but it is 100% preventable if exposure is limited and personal protective equipment and proper ventilation is utilized.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical, is a leading provider of silica testing solutions. LA Testing’s Los Alamitos laboratory is pleased to be able to offer silica analysis with a full array of OSHA and NIOSH testing methods. The company also has an instructional sampling video at and a free educational poster is available at the company’s website.

“It’s important that workers are ensured a safe and healthy working environment and protection from overexposure to silica,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “In addition to the actual analysis, LA Testing can provide sampling protocols, filters and personal monitoring equipment,” Sublasky continued.

To learn more about silica and other environmental testing services please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Silica Concerns Citations
 testing solution industry
 OSHA penalty airborne
 crystal mineral amorphous
 quartz tridymite tripoli

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