The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance is a coalition of companies dedicated to advancing the interests of our industry by promoting its benefits and preserving our freedom to operate.

ABMA Releases Comprehensive Abrasive Blasting Materials Content Study

The ABMA Sets the Record Straight about OSHA’s Beryllium Rule 

The ABMA Speaks on Study Finding Glass Abrasives Contain Beryllium

ABMA Infographic –  MYTH vs. FACT: OSHA Beryllium Rule

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The ABMA is a coalition of abrasive blasting companies advocating for a regulatory framework based on sound scientific and public health data. We work with partners throughout the industry to champion sensible regulations that ensure worker health and environmental protection while preserving abrasive blasters’ freedom to operate.

Unfortunately, recent government regulations affecting our industry have been quietly imposed with no data to justify them. Specifically, OSHA’s new rules governing beryllium exposure were unnecessarily expanded to include the abrasive blasting industry without any scientific justification.

Our industry is already heavily regulated to ensure the safety of our workers and the environment. OSHA’s beryllium rules are a solution in search of a problem, which will heap additional costs on abrasive blasters without providing any tangible benefits to employee safety and health. We urge you to learn more about the rules below.

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Study: Technical Issues Associated with the Adoption of Ancillary Provisions for Construction and Shipyards

“This report has been prepared by Exponent on behalf of Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance (“ABMA” or the “Alliance”) to address technical issues associated with the adoption of ancillary provisions of the final Be rule (adopted on January 9, 2017) for the construction and
shipyard industries.”

Comments to OSHA: An Epidemiological & Occupational Medicine Assessment and Evaluation of Beryllium Exposure

“Including the more recent cohort studies along with other evaluations and re-analyses, scientific assessment of a potential causal association between occupational beryllium exposure and the development of lung cancer clearly shows a lack of consistent evidence of a significant risk for
the development of lung cancer in either soluble or insoluble beryllium exposed occupational groups who worked after 1955.”

Forbes: Bad Rules Can Cost Money Even Before Being Implemented

“When Washington imposes confusing, unnecessary and burdensome regulations there are always unanticipated winners and losers that go beyond mere compliance costs. Private companies exploit the confusion created by redundant and complicated rules to denigrate its competitors and boost market share.” [READ MORE]

INSIDE OSHA: OSHA Sends Final Beryllium Rule To OMB As Industry Debate Intensifies 

“The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance (ABMA), whose members produce abrasives products containing slag, are making an 11th-hour push to roll back OSHA’s beryllium rule, releasing a new study that even non-slag abrasives, which some have suggested may be a safer alternative, contain beryllium, and that “unnecessary regulations” impact the entire industry “regardless of material used.”

ABMA’s March 22 analysis says that non-slag abrasives contain levels of beryllium that “will likely trigger new testing levels” and demonstrated the rule’s exposure limits “are likely to be triggered no matter the abrasive used — and the impact on operations will be the same regardless of the blasting media companies buy.’” [READ MORE]

PaintSquare News: Study Questions Abrasives’ Beryllium Content

“New data released by a blasting-abrasive industry trade group appears to show higher levels of beryllium than previously recorded in a number of abrasive media, though manufacturers of those products have questioned the methods and motives of the group that published the new study.

The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance released the new data March 22, based on an analysis of several garnet, staurolite, glass and aluminum oxide abrasive products carried out by California-based scientific consulting firm Exponent.

The data follows up an earlier release of a study of only crushed-glass abrasives, carried out by the same firm. The ABMA has been active in arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new beryllium rule will be an undue burden on blasting operations using any abrasive, and holds that no abrasive media can be considered to be beryllium-free.” [READ MORE]

PaintSquare News: Setting the Record Straight about OSHA’s Beryllium Rule

“During the final days of the Obama presidency, OSHA attempted to implement a sweeping set of beryllium rules, including exposure limits and other regulations, that would have massive implications for the abrasive blasting industry. After hearing from members of our industry, however, OSHA has proposed to rework the beryllium rules to remove a number of requirements that would have increased the cost of abrasive blasting while providing no known health benefits to workers.” [READ MORE]

News Release: ABMA Speaks on Study Finding Glass Abrasives Contain Beryllium

“The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance (ABMA) released the results of an independent study assessing the beryllium content of 9 samples of crushed glass abrasives from major manufacturers and distributors in the industry. The results showed that all of the glass samples contained beryllium, in addition to arsenic, cadmium and lead. These findings should lay to rest the false claims and advertising that some manufacturers of glass abrasives have deployed to mislead the public about the supposed benefits of their products.” [READ MORE]

Washington Times: Zealotry is no substitute for science

“The Trump administration has proposed an updated beryllium rule that eliminates many of the regulations covering abrasive blasting in the construction and maritime industries, which OSHA already regulates to protect workers. The new rule includes what many in the industry regard as unnecessarily restrictive exposure limits, and say in its natural form beryllium in trace amounts has not led to worker illness.” [READ MORE]

The Hill: Beryllium broadside: Obama’s last-minute rule-making will cost jobs

“The government’s explicit direction that companies automate in the name of protecting workers against a potential health hazard that would likely not survive an honest cost-benefit analysis is not the path to increased prosperity.” [READ MORE]

The ABMA’s Mummert in Industrial Safety and Hygiene News: OSHA’s beryllium rule reaches farther than many realize

“The rule is so confusing that many in the media and even the abrasive blasting industry are misinformed about what sectors of the industry will be impacted. We often see the rule portrayed as targeting abrasive blasting operations using coal or copper slag. The truth is, OSHA’s language says nothing about slag. In fact, a close reading of the rule reveals that it governs all abrasive blasting, whether you use slag, glass, garnet, or other common materials. All blasting media include trace amounts of beryllium, which is released into the air; in fact, most of the surfaces that are being blasted include small amounts of Beryllium, too. We’re talking about a common element that appears in garden soil, after all.” [READ MORE]

Daily Caller: OSHA Must Revisit Costly Expansion of Maritime and Construction Rule

“If OSHA wishes to avoid seeing another of its rules preempted by Congress, it should respect the regulatory process and take out the 11th hour expansion of the beryllium rule.” [READ MORE]

The Hill: How hasty Obama-era rules are doing more harm than good

“Consequently, OSHA should extend the current implementation delay of the beryllium rule and restart a new comment period that enables relevant public input to guide the final rule. Going forward, OSHA should be required to follow open and transparent rule making processes. Otherwise, the economic costs created by excessive regulations will only worsen over time.” [READ MORE]

Forbes: Rushed Beryllium Rule Deserves a Second Look

“OSHA spent a lot of time studying its regulatory options because the impact of beryllium exposure on the human body is complicated. Their last-minute haste to expand the original rule to capture a much wider variety of economic activity after four years of study is controversial and worthy of further study beyond the month-and-a-half they gave OIRA and other agencies to do so, especially given that the rulemaking began five years ago.” [READ MORE]

Biloxi Sun Herald: Last-minute Obama ruling could cost Gulf Coast good jobs

“This is important for the Gulf Coast, because the maritime business relies heavily on abrasive blasting to clean the hulls of ships. Across our region, thousands of workers are employed doing this very important task. But now, their jobs are at risk because this new regulation places heavy regulatory and financial burdens on employers.” [READ MORE]

POLITICO: “Industry Group Calls for Beryllium Delay”

“The Abrasive Blasting Manufacturers Alliance sent a letter on Monday to OSHA that calls for ‘a much lengthier delay’ and removal of the construction and shipyard industries from the rule’s jurisdiction. The coalition said the new rule addresses an ‘unproven risk’ and would ‘impermissibly place costly burdens’ on their industry.” [READ MORE]

PaintSquare News: OSHA Proposes Beryllium Rule Delay

“As written, the rule unnecessarily impacts all abrasive blasting media, despite the fact that beryllium exposure has not caused a single incidence of harm in the history of our industry,” said the ABMA’s Mark Mummert. “Moving forward, we will continue to call on OSHA to remove construction and maritime settings from the scope of the beryllium rule and focus on the rule’s original intent: regulating human exposure to beryllium alloy manufacturing.” [READ MORE]

Heartland Institute: Shining a Light on Midnight Regulations

Central to the rule-making process is the idea that the public, including stakeholders, can review the record and analyze the data and analysis behind a proposed rule. But that wasn’t the case for the construction and maritime industry, which had been exempted from the proposed rule, for good reason. Beryllium in abrasive blasting is fundamentally different from beryllium exposure in other occupational settings, and is subject to entirely different regulations already in place. [READ MORE]

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