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What is the New Occupational Exposure Limit?

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The OSHA Final Rule for Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica, including the standard for construction, 29 CFR 1926.1153, and for general industry and maritime, 29 CFR 1910.1053, took effect on June 23, 2016. The OSHA final rule reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, matching the NIOSH REL. Engineering controls are now also a part of the new rule helping to reduce worker exposure. Depending on the industry, implementation dates for the new rule range from 2017 to 2021. The new occupational exposure limit is expected to save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

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