Asbestos Exposure Limit
We (MSHA) are proposing to revise our existing health standards for asbestos exposure at metal and nonmetal mines, surface coal mines, and surface areas of underground coal mines. The proposed rule would reduce the full-shift permissible exposure limit and the excursion limit for airborne asbestos fibers, and make several nonsubstantive changes to add clarity to the standard. Exposure to asbestos has been associated with lung and other cancers, mesotheliomas, and asbestosis. This proposed rule would help assure that fewer miners who work in an environment where asbestos is present would suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity over their working lifetime.
Summary of Decisions Granting in Whole or in Part Petitions for Modification
Under section 101 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) may allow the modification of the application of a mandatory safety standard to a mine if the Secretary determines either that an alternate method exists at a specific mine that will guarantee no less protection for the miners affected than that provided by the standard, or that the application of the standard at a specific mine will result in a diminution of safety to the affected miners. Final decisions on these petitions are based on the petitioner's statements, comments and information submitted by interested persons, and a field investigation of the conditions at the mine. MSHA, as designee of the Secretary, has granted or partially granted the requests for modification listed below. In some instances, the decisions are conditioned upon compliance with stipulations stated in the decision. The term FR Notice appears in the list of affirmative decisions below. The term refers to the Federal Register volume and page where MSHA published a notice of the filing of the petition for modification.