MAR 31, 2016 05:17 AM PDT

New Limits on Exposure to Toxic Dust


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets limits for exposure to certain substances in the work place. One of them is crystalline silica. It's a common mineral found in lots of different building materials and it's known to cause cancer. Since 1971 the limit on how much workers could be exposed to during the course of an 8-hour shift has been set at 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air. New regulations set by OSHA have reduced that amount to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air for workers in the construction industry and 100 micrograms for other industries.

The new regulations will go into effect in June, however employers have between 1 and 5 years to change their methods to fully comply with the new standards. Not surprisingly, employers in the affected fields fought against the new limits, insisting that such low levels of the dust could not be reliably maintained on most work sites. When inhaled over time, crystalline silica can cause lung damage and lung cancer. Limiting the amount circulating in the air with increased ventilation and protective gear is possible, but difficult.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
The Science Behind the First Powered Flight on Another Planet
NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission involves much more than just another land-based rover – it will also pioneer the very first powered flight on...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
What NASA's TESS Mission Has Accomplished Thus Far
Astronomers are particularly interested in finding an exoplanet like the Earth, and with the help of NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, al...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
Watch a Pod of Dolphins Play Catch With a Pufferfish
Playing catch with a ball of some sort is a popular past time for humans, but as it would seem, even dolphins might enjoy partaking in similar behaviors. I...
OCT 21, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 21, 2019
Dolphins Lost 85 Genes to Become Aquatic
Dolphins, whales and porpoises are marine mammals; otherwise known as cetaceans. Although they live exclusively underwater nowadays, tens of millions of ye...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
A More Practical Theory Regarding Tabby's Star
A distant star system called KIC 8462852, also commonly known as ‘Tabby’s Star,’ has a particularly interesting reputation for dimming sp...
Loading Comments...