B_1015_Buzz_Architect

New OSHA Rule Lowers Beryllium Levels

Jan. 9, 2017

The final rule is an update from previous beryllium permissible exposure limits, will save lives of 94 workers from beryllium-related diseases yearly according to OSHA.

OSHA has released a new final rule that aims to greatly lower workplace exposure to beryllium, a strategically important material that can cause devastating lung diseases. The new standards on beryllium 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.

Beryllium is a strong, lightweight metal most commonly used in aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunication, medical and defense industries. Despite being effective in practice, it's highly toxic when beryllium-containing materials are processed in a way that releases airborne beryllium dust, fume, or mist into the workplace air to be inhaled by workers, potentially damaging their lungs. Scientific studies show that exposure to even a low-level of beryllium can cause serious lung disease and other health problems. The new rule revises previous beryllium permissible exposure limits, which were based on decades-old studies.

When put into practice, the final rule will reduce the eight-hour permissible exposure limit from the previous level of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter. At any rate above that level, employers must immeditely make plans to reduce the airborne concentration of beryllium. It also requires that employees and building occupants be equipped with personal protective equipment, medical exams, other medical surveillance and training. OSHA estimates that the rule when in effect will annually save the lives of 94 workers from beryllium-related diseases and prevent 46 new cases of beryllium-related disease. 

To learn more about the final rule, available at the Federal Register, please click here.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Decarbonization 2024: How Digital Tools Minimize Your Carbon Footprint

Discover the untapped potential of digital electricity infrastructure in revolutionizing building electrification and decarbonization, unlocking a sustainable future while reducing...

Building Security & Technology Series: Webinar 3 - Proptech

Date: May 22, 2024Time: 1:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM CDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM GMT Duration: 1 Hour eachGold Sponsors: Genetec, ISS, PrometheusSilver Sponsors: Eagle Eye Networks...

Building Security & Technology Series: Webinar 4 - Lessons Learned

Date: May 29, 2024Time: 1:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM CDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM GMTDuration: 1 Hour eachGold Sponsors: Genetec, ISS, PrometheusSilver Sponsors: Eagle Eye Networks,...