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MSHA Moves Closer to a Silica Rule


On Aug. 29, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) took a step closer to an updated regulation for respirable crystalline silica. In a published Request for Information (RFI), the agency is soliciting “data and information on economically and technologically feasible best practices” to protect the health of coal miners and metal/nonmetal workers from “exposure to quartz, including a reduced [workplace exposure] standard, new or developing protective technologies, and/or technical and educational assistance.”

The long expected RFI follows a comprehensive silica regulation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and reports that clusters of “black lung disease” among coal miners in Appalachia may in part be related to elevated silica exposures.

The deadline to submit comments to MSHA is Oct. 28. The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) is reviewing the RFI to determine an appropriate response and encourages interested members to contact Dale T. Drysdale, NSSGA vice president of occupational & environmental health policy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Libby Pritchard, NSSGA director of safety policy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..