New OSHA standards for respirable crystalline silica (RCS) have generated quite a bit of discussion among industrial hygiene and environmental health and safety professionals. Enforcement of the new regulations began on September 23rd, 2017 for the construction industry, with a 30-day grace period so companies had ample time to implement control measures and address any potential issues. Professionals have spent months reviewing the new requirements and re-evaluating their monitoring and control plans to ensure they meet new OSHA standards for respirable crystalline silica. This will likely continue well into 2018 as the rules for general industry and maritime come into effect in June.
Smaller companies may have been compliant with the previous OSHA action levels for respirable crystalline silica, but now find themselves needing to resample and potentially implement new control measures and procedures to ensure worker safety and compliance with the new silica standards. With over 25 years of experience supporting clients’ industrial hygiene program needs, including processing thousands of respirable crystalline silica samples annually, RJ Lee Group has continued to enhance and expand our cutting edge scientific capabilities and customer support. Most notably, RJ Lee Group has achieved a 50% reduction in the detection limit for respirable crystalline silica with upgrades to our equipment and technology – an industry-leading advancement within the suite of analytical services we offer our clients to help them comply with the new OSHA silica rules.
While the standard detection limit for silica dust exposure throughout the laboratory industry is 5µg/filter, RJLG’s new equipment and technical enhancements ensures our laboratory can now report detection limits down to 2.5 µg/filter, a significant scientific step forward. More importantly, this provides a significant advantage to our customers. RJ Lee Group is now the only laboratory that can offer this enhanced analytical service for respirable crystalline silica.
The lower detection level (or level of quantitation, aka LOQ) is particularly valuable for clients that experience short duration sampling events and have a low sample volume on the filter, or for those collecting ambient (fence line) samples. At 2.5 µg/filter, RJ Lee Group offers greater precision and more meaningful results. In each of the above instances, the potential sample volume on the filter may be insufficient to allow an accurate detection with the standard 5µg/filter capabilities offered by other labs. Without an accurate figure, industrial hygienists and EH&S professionals may not have a reliable set of data upon which to base their control and containment plans and procedures silica dust exposure.
As a result of these enhancements to our analytical capabilities, RJ Lee Group continues to be a leader in the industrial hygiene, materials characterization and industrial forensics laboratory community. Our scientists, laboratory technicians, and industrial hygienists have the scientific and technical experience to support your analytical needs. Whether your project is small, large, or highly complex, we have the resources to support your project professionally, economically, and efficiently.
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