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Phoenix, AZ, September 12, 2018 – “You can have all the rules and regulations to protect worker health, but what really gets results is individual respect for human life, especially among management leaders,” stated Peter Roosen, CEO, Castagra Products Inc.

“I was very pleased about OSHA’s tremendous contribution to sharply limiting exposure to substances such as crystalline silica which is so common in my industry where site preparation involves substrates such as concrete and cement.

“Many of our competitors have to sandblast and grind down their substrate in order to provide surfaces that will work with their products. We all but eliminate this entirely by blowing, power washing and sweeping as our Ecodur has two to three times the adhesion strength compared to them and doesn’t require such an aggressive prep on concrete,” said Roosen.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) slashed the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) on breathed in crystalline silica to about one-half to one-quarter of the previous limits on June 23, 2016.

Crystalline silica is in sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block or mortar. Workers are highly vulnerable when cutting, sawing, drilling or crushing materials such as these that contain crystalline silica which becomes airborne and, because they are often so, fine, they become lodged permanently deep in lungs, leading, potentially to silicosis.

Other diseases linked to breathed in silica include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney disease.

“In the absence of effective specific treatment for silica-related diseases, the only approach remains primary prevention, i.e., control of exposure to respirable silica.”
-Official Statement of the American Thoracic Society on the Adverse Effects of Crystalline Silica Exposure.

Typically, the industries affected by this new rule include construction, general industry, maritime and hydraulic fracturing, but in the coating industry, many products require target substrates such as concrete to be ground to a clean surface condition, free of other contaminants such as oil.

OSHA claims the tougher exposure limiting rules will save more than 600 lives, and prevent 900 new silicosis cases each year. OSHA reports that 2.2 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica each year. The vast majority of exposed individuals, nearly 1.85 million, are employed in the construction industry.

“OSHA’s work is truly life saving, but, frankly, no level of crystalline silica is really safe. Safe is actually zero exposure. We well know how even minor exposure to material such as airborne asbestos particles can result in deadly mesothelioma, even 30 or 40 years later.

“Millions of workers in many other countries do not have an OSHA or an EPA trying to safeguard their interests. Instead, they have managers, often with highly privileged backgrounds, driving hard on the bottom line to be competitive in foreign markets with scant regard for human safety.

“We CEOs here in the US have a direct responsibility to follow the rules, even when not in heavy industries with no dust obviously flying around. Often the dangers are invisible as with Volatile Organic Compounds that come out of coatings for example with hot melts.

“Twenty-five years ago we strove to come out with an environmentally friendly coating that had zero VOCs before many in the industry had even registered the fact that they were basically harmful. And, we went even further by eliminating solvents entirely from all stages of the application process, even clean up,” continued Roosen.

Castagra’s Ecodur is made from renewable castor oil and recyclable gypsum. It is non-toxic and so pure that, in its final state, whether on concrete or steel, it is rated ANSI/NSF-61 certified for contact with drinking water.

“Ecodur is the ultimate primer because of how effective it is on adhering to wide range of substrates, including cementitious ones. It also is highly applicable to a wide range of topcoats with silicone arguably being the best, particularly where the client wants a cool roof.”

Roosen said the coating process for Ecodur also involves safety rules despite it not having any VOCs and being so pure.

“When it’s being handled and, most particularly when it is being applied, full protection is required for exposed skin, eyes and nose. Typically, an applicator will wear a disposable coverall, plastic glasses and a particulate disposable. In extreme causes such as coating the inside of a tank, a separate air supply might be required.”

“Frankly when any kind of dust is flying, even if it is something as seemingly innocuous as sawdust, a particulate mask should be worn. That’s plain commonsense and managers should want it for their workers as a matter of respect for human life.

“We all want a comfortable retirement and, preferably, a long one. For countless millions around the globe, this is still not an option because of poverty and their lives having been drastically shortened by toxic fumes and particulates. The OSHA rules for the US may save over 600 lives a year, but my guess is it will lengthen the lives of many, many times that number,” concluded Roosen.

Castagra Products Inc., has its registered office in Reno, Nevada, USA, and headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. It has its main toll production facility in Houston in Texas. The company is focussed on providing ultra-protective VOC-free, BPA-free, non-toxic coatings for roofing, floors, water and waste water industries and oil, gas, frac production water storage tanks and pipes.