New Respirable Dust Rule Implementation

“Congress had it right in 1969 when it enacted legislation calling for an end to black lung disease. We are here now to finish the job.”

– Joseph A. Main, Assistant Secretary MSHA

Final rule issued to better protect coal miners’ health

The new rule regarding respirable dust will lower the concentration of harmful respirable coal mine dust that causes coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung. It takes a comprehensive approach that includes: increased sampling by mine operators; use of new technology for real-time sampling results; immediate corrective action when excessive dust levels are found; determination of noncompliance based on a single MSHA sample; and reduced dust standards. The rule took official effect last August, with plans to phase in multiple components over the next two years. Proposed in 2010, the rule builds on years of research and was developed with the input of industry, labor, and health professionals. It is the centerpiece of the agency’s campaign to End Black Lung, launched in 2009.

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Read the final rule here
Regulatory Economic Analysis
Quantitative Risk Assessment
News release
Fact sheet
Summary by effective date
Sampling and compliance facts
Questions and answers
Event poster: The Toll of Black Lung Continues
Archived webpage for End Black Lung – Act Now!


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