• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Final Rule
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Final Rule on Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde

OSHA hereby amends its existing regulation for occupational exposure to formaldehyde, 29 CFR 1910.1048, in response primarily to a remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in UAW v. Pendergrass, 878 F.2d 389 (D.C. Cir. 1989). The final amendments lower the permissible exposure level for formaldehyde from 1 ppm (part per million) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) to an 8-hour time- weighted average of 0.75 ppm. The amendments also add medical removal protection provisions to supplement the existing medical surveillance requirements for those employees suffering significant eye, nose or throat irritation and for those suffering from dermal irritation or sensitization from occupational exposure to formaldehyde. In addition, certain changes have been made to the standard''s hazard communication and employee training requirements. These amendments establish specific hazard labeling requirements for all forms of formaldehyde, including mixtures and solutions composed of 0.1% or greater of formaldehyde and materials capable of releasing formaldehyde in excess of 0.1 ppm. Additional hazard labeling, including a warning that formaldehyde presents a potential cancer hazard, is required where formaldehyde levels, under reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, may potentially exceed 0.5 ppm. The final amendments also provide for annual training of all employees exposed to formaldehyde at levels of 0. 1 ppm or higher. Effective date: This amendment shall take effect on June 26, 1992. Certain provisions of the amended standard have delayed start-up dates which are detailed in paragraph (p) of the standard. SEE THE OSHA STANDARDS DATABASE FOR FULL TEXT OF THE STANDARD. For information contact James Foster, (202) 523-8151.