Events and News

Wall Street Journal Runs Critical Editorial on OSHA Silica Proposal

February 10, 2014

The American Foundry Society was quoted in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece published today (Feb. 10) that is critical of OSHA’s proposal to cut the permissible exposure rate of crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

In the op-ed, “The Dukes of Workplace Hazard,” WSJ points out OSHA’s proposed new rules will require 534,000 businesses to overhaul their practices and calls OSHA’s estimate for compliance cost of $637 million as “optimistic at best.”

The American Foundry Society is cited for its compliance cost estimate of $2 billion, and the article gives the American Chemistry Council’s early estimate of $5.45 billion.

According to WSJ, “OSHA’s proposal won’t even reduce silicosis because it can’t enforce the current exposure limit: Its own sampling shows that more than 30% of tested work sites struggle to adhere to the current standard, never mind the new one.”

The piece further states silicosis has been all but eliminated already, with deaths of the disease declining by more than 90% in the past 40 years. The American Chemistry Council has noted it is dubious of a testing lab’s ability to accurately measure silica at a concentration as low as 50 micrograms.

“We can see why the President would fear the political consequences of this job-killing regulation in his first term,” the WSJ piece states. “Too bad he doesn’t seem to fear the economic consequences in his second.”

To read the article, click here.