OSHA has issued a final rule that updates regulation established 40 years ago to prevent chronic beryllium disease and lung cancer in American workers by limiting their exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds.
A new rule issued today by OSHA dramatically lowers workplace exposure to beryllium, a strategically important material that can cause devastating lung diseases. The new beryllium standards for general industry, construction and shipyards will require employers to take additional, practical measures to protect an estimated 62,000 workers from these serious risks.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for issuing a proposed rule (PDF) that would bring its Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program in line with current evidence on the dangers of beryllium. According to advocacy group Public Citizen, the DOE’s proposal stands in sharp contrast with the actions of OSHA, which has yet to lower its workplace beryllium limit from an outdated level set in 1971, Public Citizen said.