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Final OSHA Silica Exposure Rule Issued

March 24, 2016, 4:00 AM

Hailing the release of the final silica rule on March 24, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at times was apologetic, recounting stories about thousands of workers who died from inhaling silica.

“It shouldn’t have taken this long,” Perez said, addressing an audience of labor representatives and businesses that support the new rule. “Today public policy is catching up with science.”

The silica rule sets a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for airborne crystalline silica of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 μg/m3) for general industry, construction and maritime employers. The new PEL is half the old general industry PEL...

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