Crystalline Silica Resource Page
OSHA's new crystalline silica rule was finalized March 24. It reduced the permissible exposure limit (PEL) to silica in half, from 100 µg (micrograms)/cu.m to 50 µg/cu.m. Here is what you need to know about the rule. AFS is committed to a silica regulatory policy based on sound science that protects its workers, is technologically and economically feasible, and does not impose compliance costs that far exceed its expected benefits.
Watch the AFS Webinar on OSHA's Final Rule and its Impact on Metalcasters (Download the PDF of the webinar here.)
As the new silica rule imposes a significant reduction in the PEL and requires metalcasting facilities to adopt extensive engineering and work practice controls to limit silica exposures over other available technology, compliance with the new rule will require substantial investment per plant without a guarantee that your facility can actually comply with the new requirements.
AFS and the National Association of Manufacturers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Court to review the silica rule. The request was filed through AFS’ affiliated Texas Chapter. After all petitioners have filed, the court that ultimately hears the case will set a briefing schedule. Should we prevail at the Circuit Court, OSHA would likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or come to a settlement agreement with all of the parties who litigate this rulemaking.
To support AFS's legal challenge to the silica rule, please click here.
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Detailed Information on the Rule
- Final OSHA Silica Rule (March 2016)
- Key Provisions of Final OSHA Silica Rule (March 2016)
- AFS Webinar on OSHA Rule and Impact on Metalcasters
- AFS' Filed Comments on Proposed Silica Rule
- Metalcasting Industry Testimony in Public Hearings on Rule
- AFS Critique of Interpretation of Foundry Silica Results Used by OSHA
- Impact of OSHA Silica Rule on U.S. Foundries (April 12 Webinar Power Point PDF)
- AFS Webinar on how the silica rule impacts the metalcasting industry.
- Environomics report on costs to metalcasting facilities (2013)
- OSHA’s health effects & risk assessment background documents
- OSHA’s preliminary economic analysis and employment analysis
For further information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office, 202-452-7135, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support From Elected Officials
- Letter from Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) to Stop Another OSHA Regulatory Overreach: Silica Dust
- Texas Governor Files Letter Against OSHA's Silica Proposal Rule
- Iowa Governor Writes Letter Asking OSHA to Withdraw Proposed Silica Rule
- 55 Members of Congress Sign Letter Concerning Silica Rulemaking
OSHA Silica Resource Pages
- Crystalline Silica
- OSHA Crystalline Silica Rule Fact Sheet
- Crystalline Silica: OSHA’s web-based training tool to help companies comply with OSHA’s standard on crystalline silica rule.
- National Emphasis Program on Crystalline Silica
- National Emphasis Program - Primary Metal Industries
Silica Control Resources
- Silica PEL Calculator (Excel Spreadsheet)
- Control of Silica Exposure in Foundries
- PPE Guide for Metalcasting Operations
- The C.A. Lawton Co. CASE STUDY: Reducing Silica Exposures Through Engineering Controls and Work Practices
- Clearing the Air at Acme Foundry: Integrated Engineering Design of a New Casting Cleaning and Finishing Facility
- Silica Dust Control Improvement: Grinding of Iron Castings with Portable Tools at Kennedy Valve Foundry in Elmira, New York