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OSHA Announces New Proposed Rule to Protect Workers from Crystalline Silica

EMSL Analytical provides testing services for crystalline silica, including alpha-quartz, cristobalite, tridymite and amorphous silica.


Cinnaminson, NJ, August 26, 2013

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a proposed rule to lower worker exposure to crystalline silica.  When implemented, the new rule is aimed at lowering lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in the American workforce.

The public has 90 days to submit written comments, which will then be followed by public hearings.  OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would result in saving nearly 700 lives per year and prevent 1,600 new cases of silicosis annually.

“Exposure to silica can be deadly, and limiting that exposure is essential,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Every year, exposed workers not only lose their ability to work, but also to breathe. This proposal is expected to prevent thousands of deaths from silicosis—an incurable and progressive disease—as well as lung cancer, other respiratory diseases and kidney disease. We’re looking forward to public comment on the proposal.”

Currently, OSHA enforces 40-year-old permissible exposure limits (PELs) for crystalline silica in general industry, construction and shipyards.  One company that has been at the forefront of providing crystalline silica testing services is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Silicosis is a disease of the lungs due to the breathing of dust containing crystalline silica particles. There is no cure for this disease, prevention is the only answer.  EMSL provides air and bulk sample analyses using NIOSH Method 7500, NIOSH Method 7501 and OSHA Method ID-142.”

EMSL has released an online video about silicosis and crystalline silica that can be seen at:

EMSL provides complimentary air sampling pumps for environmental consultants monitoring for silica.  To learn more about crystalline silica testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 



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