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.
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. 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 worker rights.
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 business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential on-site consultation service to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, 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. Employees 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 your local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by an employee are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). It's 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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