News Release USDL: 96-104
Monday, March 18, 1996
Contact: Frank Kane (202) 219-8151
OSHA Seeks Comments On Union-Management Pact In Synthetic
Rubber Industry To Improve Worker Protection Against 1,-3
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is
soliciting comments on the labor-management agreement in the synthetic
rubber industry recommending improved protection against
1,3-butadiene (BD), a cancer-causing air contaminant.
OSHA believes the agreement contains provisions that
will greatly improve worker health and therefore should
be included in the final revised BD standard. However, the
agency wants to be certain of the meaning and effect of the
The agreement in the industry was between the United
Steelworkers of America (USWA), which merged with the
United Rubber Workers (URW), the International Chemical
Workers Union (ICWU), and representatives of the International
Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP).
OSHA also is seeking comments on changes to its proposed
revision of the BD standard. These medical surveillance
changes would include relying on a medical questionaire instead
of some of the proposed yearly physical examinations. Comment
is also requested on the appropriateness of removing BD-exposed
workers from their job for medical reasons.
The agreement recommends reducing the permissible exposure
limit (PEL) for BD by a factor of 1000, from the current 1000
parts per million (ppm) limit to a new PEL of 1 ppm.
Comments are sought on the provisions in the agreement on
definitions, exposure monitoring, the exposure goal program,
respirators, medical surveillance, and communication of BD
hazards to employees.
The comments must be postmarked by April 8 and should be
submitted in quadruplicate to the OSHA Docket Office
(Docket No. H-041), Room N2625, US Department of Labor,
200 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20210. Comments
limited to 10 pages or less may also be transmitted by
facsimile to (202) 219-5046, provided the original and the
four copies are sent later to the Docket Office.
All materials submitted will be available for inspection
and copying at the Docket Office.
The notice of the reopening of the record is in the
Friday, March 8, 1996, Federal Register.