Report: Short Term Exposure Limit for Respirable Crystalline Silica


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This report investigates whether a short term exposure limit (STEL) should be implemented to complement the workplace exposure standard (WES) of 0.05 mg/m3 for respirable crystalline silica. A STEL is a maximum airborne concentration that a worker can be exposed to in a short period of time (15 minutes) and is set at a higher concentration than the WES.

The report found that if respirable crystalline silica had an 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) of 0.05 mg/m3 then a STEL was not recommended. The report stated that workplaces should not have airborne concentrations of respirable crystalline silica higher than the TWA of 0.05 mg/m3 at any time. Even 15 minutes at a higher STEL concentration could damage a worker’s health.

The report did not recommend a STEL be added to the workplace exposure standard for respirable crystalline silica at this time.

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Hazardous chemicals
Crystalline silica and silicosis
Workplace exposure standards for chemicals