OSHA has released its final rule on protecting workers from exposure to silica, marking the agency’s first updated regulation for the material since 1971.
The new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged during an 8-hour shift.
It matches what NIOSH recommended in 1974.
OSHA’s new PEL is half the previous limit for general industry and five times lower than the previous limit for construction.
The new rule covers the following: