New exposure limit proposed for respirable crystalline silica

The British British Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has published a
Consultative Document on a proposal for a new Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL)
for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) - a reduction from the current WEL of
0.3mg.m-3 for respirable crystalline silica to 0.1mg.m-3 ( 8-hour time weighted

Crystalline silica is present in rock, sands, clays, gravels and shales and
materials composed of these, such as bricks, tiles and concrete, and in excess
of  100,000 workers are believed to be regularly exposed to dusts containing
RCS, working in mines and quarries, iron and steel foundries, the heavy clay
industry, brick manufacture, potteries, construction, stonemason work and the
industrial sand industry.

Crystalline silica is harmful to the lungs, causing the lung disease silicosis,
it also brings an increased risk of lung cancer.

The document, Proposal for a Workplace Exposure Limit for Respirable
Crystalline Silica, has a closing date for comment of 13th March 2006, any new
WEL would be introduced later in that year, as would practical advice on how to
control exposures in the workplace.

Further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive