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. AFS is committed to assisting foundries in coming into, and maintaining compliance with these new regulations, in the most effective and economical manner.

Silica Handbook for Small and Medium-Sized Foundries

This comprehensive guide is an AFS Members only resource. The 200+ page document includes copies of the Respirable Crystalline Silica standard (regulation), a plain language description of the requirements including respiratory protection and medical surveillance requirements, and more than thirty (30) attachments of templates, fillable forms, spreadsheets to track lab analysis, case studies from foundries, lists of service providers such as Industrial Hygienists, non-silica media providers, and a template to develop your own Silica Exposure Control Plan. Check out the table of contents for a full list of available resources. This is a living document, being updated as we hear of your needs and obtain information from OSHA, so check back often for updates.


Crystalline Silica Compliance Webinar Series for AFS Members

  1. Silica Substitutes - What Will Work for Your Foundry?  Feb. 28, 2018 – Panelists: Steve Gates, Jeff Morrell, Bill Johnston, and Jerry Thiel
  2. How to Select an Industrial Hygienist and What to Expect When They Come  March 29, 2018 – Presenter: Kay Rowntree
  3. Respiratory Protection and Medical Surveillance for Silica  April 26, 2018 – Presenter: Kay Rowntree
  4. Control of Silica: Part 1- Exposure Control Options  May 30, 2018 – Bob Scholz
  5. Countdown to Compliance Under OSHA's Final Silica Rule  June 19, 2018 – Presenter: Bradford T. Hammock
  6. Control of Silica Exposures: Part 2- Defining Root Causes and Evaluating Options for Silica Exposure Control  June 28, 2018 – Presenter: Bob Scholz
  7. Housekeeping & Silica Exposure Control Plans July 26, 2018 - Presenter: Eric Pylkas
  8. Silica Q&A August 30, 2018 - Presenters: Tom Slavin, Kay Rowntree, Bob Scholz, Eric Pylkas

Update on Respirable Silica - What You Should be Doing Now  Nov. 7, 2017 – Presenter: Tom Slavin

AFS Webinar on OSHA's Final Rule and Its Impact on Metalcasters  April 12, 2016 – Presenters: Tom Slavin and Stephanie Salmon


Signage for Regulated Areas

Timeline and Resource Links

Silica Compliance Timeline (AFS Members Only)

OSHA agrees to use of non-HEPA industrial sweepers is acceptable under new silica rule - October 2018

OSHA Resources

Frequently Asked Question for General Industry (January 2019)  - New!

AFS - Silica FAQs General Industry Summary (January 2019)  - New!

OSHA Interim Enforcement Guidance for the Respirable Crystalline Silica in General Industry standard, 29 CFR 1910.1053 – OSHA’s guidance to its compliance safety and health officers on what to look for when inspecting a foundry for RCS compliance, and explanations of what justifies a violation and citation

Crystalline Silica Overview 


Industrial Hygiene Companies That Are AFS Members

Sand and Non-Silica Media Vendor List

Foundry Vacuum Vendors for Crystalline Silica


Finding Assistance for Cost-Effective Sampling

The 3 Most Common Styles of Respirable Samplers

Detailed Information on the Rule

Silica Control Resources

Silica PEL Calculator (Excel Spreadsheet)

PPE Guide for Metalcasting Operations (Book)

Silica Exposure Control Plan Template


For further information, email Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office, or call 202-452-7135.