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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in silica
Posted by on in Centers of Excellence
We are excited to announce that one of our industrial hygienists, Mr. Thomas Slavin, received the best paper award at the 2017 American Foundry Society Metalcasting Congress, for the paper titled "Controlling Exposures to Air Contaminants in Metalcasting – a Performance-Based Approach". The paper, co-written with Mr. Robert Scholz, presents an approach to selecting controls for air contaminants in the metalcasting industry. It not only provides an evaluation of the current protocols used by the industry, but also provides foundries with additional guidelines to implement exposure control programs that are effective, reliable, and feasible. To learn more about the paper and about Cardno ChemRisk's capabilities, please contact Mr. Thomas Slavin.
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Posted by on in Occupational Health/IH

With the release of OSHA's Final Rule for Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica on March 25, 2016, the U.S. will likely reach a new era in silica regulation. Crystalline silica is the most well-studied and one of the oldest known causes of occupational lung disease, although thus far it has only been regulated on the national level by OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs). However, efforts to release a comprehensive rule for the mineral have been underway for some time, with efforts toward a recommended standard headed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the 1970s, and an in-earnest effort by OSHA to promulgate a standard in the early 2000s.

This new regulation will impact a broad cross-section of American industry, and, notably, construction, foundries, and fracking. The hallmark imperative of this regulation is a PEL of 50 µg/m3, which cuts the previous PEL in half. In addition, there is an action level of 25 µg/m3 that will trigger additional requirements serving to prevent employees from developing a disease. The regulation also contains requirements for exposure assessment, controls including respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and a written silica control plan, among others. Notably, abrasive blasting with sand is still allowed in the U.S. despite that it can result in the highest silica exposures if workers are not properly protected, and that there are alternatives to sand. Appropriately, the new regulation contains a clause with regard to controlling exposures from sand abrasive blasting.

Many in the public health community have long seen the necessity of passing a standard that comprehensively regulates crystalline silica exposure. OSHA has estimated that the expected exposure reduction resulting from the regulation will prevent silicosis in over 900 workers annuallyand save over 600 lives annually. The Agency estimates that the annual cost to industry will be $1.03 billion, but with annual benefits to industry of over $8 billion (see Table I-1 of the Final Rule). Certain industry representatives and congressional representatives have expressed an intent to block and oppose the regulation in courts. Nevertheless, this occupational health standard, which has been a top priority both for the current OSHA administration headed by David Michaels and past OSHA administrators, is an important step toward protecting the health of U.S. workers.

For more information, please contact William Cyrs, Matthew Le, or  Thomas Slavin

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The Cardno ChemRisk View

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Cardno ChemRisk is a respected scientific consulting firm headquartered in San Francisco with locations and consultants across the U.S. While our website provides a formal look at our capabilities, the Cardno ChemRisk View provides an informal voice too. Various Cardno ChemRisk consultants will be sharing news and views about current trends, happenings and methodologies in the industry. We’ll also highlight activities of interest at Cardno ChemRisk, within confidentiality restrictions of course.

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