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1,3-Butadiene ranks 36th in the most produced chemicals in the United States. Three billion pounds per year are produced in the United States and 12 billion globally. 1,3-butadiene is produced through the processing of petroleum and is mainly used in the production of synthetic rubber, but is also found in smaller amounts in plastics and fuel. Exposure to 1,3-butadiene mainly occurs in the workplace, including the following industries: synthetic elastomer (rubber and latex) production, petroleum refining, secondary lead smelting, water treatment, agricultural fungicides, production of raw material for nylon, and the use of fossil fuels. Exposure can also occur from automobile exhaust; polluted air and water near chemical, plastic or rubber facilities; cigarette smoke; and ingestion of foods that are contaminated from plastic or rubber containers.

How do I find out about employer responsibilities and worker rights?

Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.

OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA's Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Small businesses may contact OSHA's free on-site consultation services funded by OSHA to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites. To contact free consultation services, go to OSHA's On-site Consultation webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.

Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eCompliant Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.

If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.

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