A proposed workplace beryllium rule, finally – but it is good enough?

Beryllium, a known carcinogen, is used in the construction industry, electronics manufacturing, and the nuclear energy industry, among others. Public Citizen estimates that 23,000 construction workers come into contact with beryllium daily.

Last week, fourteen years after Public Citizen first petitioned OSHA for stronger worker protections against beryllium, OSHA issued a proposed rule lowering the permissible exposure limit to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, one-tenth of the current limit.

The rule represents progress, to be sure, but new evidence that has emerged in the fourteen years since Public Citizen's original petition suggests that even the new limit might be too high.

Read Public Citizen's press release here and its 2001 petition here.


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