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And yet, the OMB Can't Seem to Figure it Out!
Ask the OMB why the agency hasn't finished reviewing a proposed silica standard, more than a year after taking the matter into consideration, and you'll probably get some mealy-mouthed answer about how these things take time, etc., etc..
But the fact is, it comes down to politics and this is, after all, an election year.
Thankfully, the military remains largely removed from the posturing of election year politics -- they gotta get the job done whether the Commander in Chief is an R or D, which perhaps explains why one branch, at least, has already determined that silica is a hazard.
In a story that ran in the Baltimore Sun yesterday, detailing the news that OSHA is now investigating the occupational hazards of sandblasting with industrial slag, an industrial hygienist at a Coast Guard ship repair yard said this:
many workplaces had shifted years ago to coal and copper slag for blasting, after it became clear that blasting with sand was exposing workers to harmful silica, which can also cause serious lung disease if inhaled.
There it is. The political veil has been pierced.
Hey, OMB! Asked and answered: silica's a hazard.
Now, let's talk solutions.