- Part Number:1910
- Part Number Title:Occupational Safety and Health Standards
- Subpart:1910 Subpart Z
- Subpart Title:Toxic and Hazardous Substances
- Standard Number:
- Title:Cotton dust.
- GPO Source:
Scope and application.
Only paragraphs (h) Medical surveillance, (k)(2) through (4) Recordkeeping—Medical Records, and appendices B, C and D of this section apply in all work places where employees exposed to cotton dust engage in cottonseed processing or waste processing operations.
Definitions. For the purpose of this section:
Assistant Secretary means the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, or designee;
Blow down means the general cleaning of a room or a part of a room by the use of compressed air.
Blow off means the use of compressed air for cleaning of short duration and usually for a specific machine or any portion of a machine.
Cotton dust means dust present in the air during the handling or processing of cotton, which may contain a mixture of many substances including ground up plant matter, fiber, bacteria, fungi, soil, pesticides, non-cotton plant matter and other contaminants which may have accumulated with the cotton during the growing, harvesting and subsequent processing or storage periods. Any dust present during the handling and processing of cotton through the weaving or knitting of fabrics, and dust present in other operations or manufacturing processes using raw or waste cotton fibers or cotton fiber byproducts from textile mills are considered cotton dust within this definition. Lubricating oil mist associated with weaving operations is not considered cotton dust.
Director means the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or designee.
Equivalent Instrument means a cotton dust sampling device that meets the vertical elutriator equivalency requirements as described in paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section.
Lint-free respirable cotton dust means particles of cotton dust of approximately 15 micrometers or less aerodynamic equivalent diameter;
Vertical elutriator cotton dust sampler or vertical elutriator means a dust sampler which has a particle size cut-off at approximately 15 micrometers aerodynamic equivalent diameter when operating at the flow rate of 7.4 ±0.2 liters of air per minute;
Waste processing means waste recycling (sorting, blending, cleaning and willowing) and garnetting.
Yarn manufacturing means all textile mill operations from opening to, but not including, slashing and weaving.
Permissible exposure limits and action levels -
Permissible exposure limits (PEL).
The employer shall assure that no employee who is exposed to cotton dust in yarn manufacturing and cotton washing operations is exposed to airborne concentrations of lint-free respirable cotton dust greater than 200 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight-hour period, as measured be a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
The employer shall assure that no employee who is exposed to cotton dust in textile mill waste house operations or is exposed in yarn manufacturing to dust from “lower grade washed cotton” as defined in paragraph (n)(5) of this section is exposed to airborne concentrations of lint-free respirable cotton dust greater than 500 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight-hour period, as measured by a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
The employer shall assure that no employee who is exposed to cotton dust in the textile processes known as slashing and weaving is exposed to airborne concentrations of lint-free respirable cotton dust greater than 750 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight hour period, as measured by a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
The action level for yarn manufacturing and cotton washing operations is an airborne concentration of lint-free respirable cotton dust of 100 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight-hour period, as measured by a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
The action level for waste houses for textile operations is an airborne concentration of lint-free respirable cotton dust of 250 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight-hour period, as measured by a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
The action level for the textile processes known as slashing and weaving is an airborne concentration of lint-free respirable cotton dust of 375 µg/m3 mean concentration, averaged over an eight-hour period, as measured by a vertical elutriator or an equivalent instrument.
Exposure monitoring and measurement—
Initial monitoring. Each employer who has a place of employment within the scope of paragraph (a)(1), (a)(4), or (a)(5) of this section shall conduct monitoring by obtaining measurements which are representative of the exposure of all employees to airborne concentrations of lint-free respirable cotton dust over an eight-hour period. The sampling program shall include at least one determination during each shift for each work area.
Methods of compliance—
Engineering and work practice controls. The employer shall institute engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee exposure to cotton dust at or below the permissible exposure limit specified in paragraph (c) of this section, except to the extent that the employer can establish that such controls are not feasible.
Mechanical ventilation. When mechanical ventilation is used to control exposure, measurements which demonstrate the effectiveness of the system to control exposure, such as capture velocity, duct velocity, or static pressure shall be made at reasonable intervals.
The employer must implement a respiratory protection program in accordance with §1910.134(b) through (d) (except (d)(1)(iii)), and (f) through (m), which covers each employee required by this section to use a respirator.
Select, and provide to employees, the appropriate respirators specified in paragraph (d)(3)(i)(A) of 29 CFR 1910.134; however, employers must not select or use filtering facepieces for protection against cotton dust concentrations greater than five times (5 × ) the PEL.
Provide HEPA filters for powered and non-powered air-purifying respirators used at cotton dust concentrations greater than ten times (10 × ) the PEL.
Employers must provide an employee with a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) instead of a non-powered air-purifying respirator selected according to paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this standard when the employee chooses to use a PAPR and it provides adequate protection to the employee as specified by paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this standard.
Work practices. Each employer shall, regardless of the level of employee exposure, immediately establish and implement a written program of work practices which shall minimize cotton dust exposure. The following shall be included were applicable:
Compressed air "blow down" cleaning shall be prohibited where alternative means are feasible. Where compressed air is used for cleaning, the employees performing the "blow down" or "blow off" shall wear suitable respirators. Employees whose presence is not required to perform "blow down" or "blow of" shall be required to leave the area affected by the "blow down" or "blow off" during this cleaning operation.
Initial examinations. The employer shall provide medical surveillance to each employee who is or may be exposed to cotton dust. For new employees, this examination shall be provided prior to initial assignment. The medical surveillance shall include at least the following:
A pulmonary function measurement, including forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and determination of the FEV1/FVC ratio shall be made. FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/ FVC ratio values shall be compared to appropriate race/ethnicity-specific Lower Limit of Normal (LLN) values and predicted values published in Spirometric Reference Values from a Sample of the General U.S. Population, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 159(1): 179–187, January 1999 (commonly known as the NHANES III reference data set) (incorporated by reference, see §1910.6). To obtain reference values for Asian-Americans, Spirometric Reference Values FEV1 and FVC predicted and LLN values for Caucasians shall be multiplied by 0.88 to adjust for ethnic differences. These determinations shall be made for each employee before the employee enters the workplace on the first day of the work week, preceded by at least 35 hours of no exposure to cotton dust. The tests shall be repeated during the shift, no less than 4 and no more than 10 hours after the beginning of the work shift; and, in any event, no more than one hour after cessation of exposure. Such exposure shall be typical of the employee’s usual workplace exposure.
Medical surveillance as required in paragraph (h)(3)(i) of this section shall be provided every six months for all employees in the following categories:
An FEV1 greater than the LLN, but with an FEV1 decrement of 5 percent or 200 ml. on a first working day;
An FEV1 of less than the LLN; or
Where, in the opinion of the physician, any significant change in questionnaire findings, pulmonary function results, or other diagnostic tests have occurred.
An employee whose FEV1 is less than 60 percent of the predicted value shall be referred to a physician for a detailed pulmonary examination.
Information provided to the physician. The employer shall provide the following information to the examination physician:
Physician's written opinion.
The results of the medical examination and tests including the FEV1, FVC, AND FEV1/FVC ratio;
Employee education and training—
Access to training materials.
CAUSES DAMAGE TO LUNGS
WEAR RESPIRATORY PROTECTION IN THIS AREA
COTTON DUST WORK AREA
MAY CAUSE ACUTE OR DELAYED
REQUIRED IN THIS AREA
The names, job classifications, and exposure levels of employees whose exposure the measurement is intended to represent.
The name and description of the duties of the employee;
Employee exposure measurement records and employee medical records required by this paragraph shall be provided upon request to employees, designated representatives, and the Assistant Secretary in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020 (a) through (e) and (g) through (i).
Transfer of records.
Observation of monitoring.
Exemptions. Cotton, after it has been washed by the processes described in this paragraph, is exempt from all or parts of this section as specified if the requirements of this paragraph are met.
In order for an employer to qualify as exempt or partially exempt from this standard for operations using washed cotton, the employer must demonstrate that the cotton was washed in a facility which is open to inspection by the Assistant Secretary and the employer must provide sufficient accurate documentary evidence to demonstrate that the washing methods utilized meet the requirements of this paragraph.
An employer who handles or processes cotton which has been washed in a facility not under the employer's control and claims an exemption or partial exemption under this paragraph, must obtain from the cotton washer and make available at the worksite, to the Assistant Secretary, to any affected employee, or to their designated representative the following:
A certification by the washer of the cotton of the grade of cotton, the type of washing process, and that the batch meets the requirements of this paragraph;
Sufficient accurate documentation by the washer of the cotton grades and washing process; and
An authorization by the washer that the Assistant Secretary or the Director may inspect the washer's washing facilities and documentation of the process.
Medical and dyed cotton. Medical grade (USP) cotton, cotton that has been scoured, bleached and dyed, and mercerized yarn shall be exempt from all provisions of this standard.
Higher grade washed cotton. The handling or processing of cotton classed as "low middling light spotted or better" (color grade 52 or better and leaf grade code 5 or better according to the 1993 USDA classification system) shall be exempt from all provisions of the standard except the requirements of paragraphs (h) medical surveillance, (k)(2) through (4) recordkeeping—medical records, and Appendices B, C, and D of this section, if they have been washed on one of the following systems:
On a continuous batt system or a rayon rinse system including the following conditions:
At a temperature of no less than 60 °C;
With a water-to-fiber ratio of no less than 40:1; and
With the bacterial levels in the wash water controlled to limit bacterial contamination of the cotton.
On a batch kier washing system including the following conditions:
With cotton fiber mechanically opened and thoroughly prewetted before forming the cake;
For low-temperature processing, at a temperature of no less than 60 °C with a water-to-fiber ratio of no less than 40:1; or, for high-temperature processing, at a temperature of no less than 93 °C with a water-to-fiber ratio of no less than 15:1;
With a minimum of one wash cycle followed by two rinse cycles for each batch, using fresh water in each cycle, and
With bacterial levels in the wash water controlled to limit bacterial contamination of the cotton.
Lower grade washed cotton. The handling and processing of cotton of grades lower than “low middling light spotted,” that has been washed as specified in paragraph (n)(4) of this section and has also been bleached, shall be exempt from all provisions of the standard except the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) Permissible Exposure Limit, (d) Exposure Monitoring, (h) Medical Surveillance, (k) Recordkeeping, and Appendices B, C and D of this section.
Mixed grades of washed cotton. If more than one grade of washed cotton is being handled or processed together, the requirements of the grade with the most stringent exposure limit, medical and monitoring requirements shall be followed.
Appendices B and D of this section are incorporated as part of this section and the contents of these appendices are mandatory.
Appendix A of this section contains information which is not intended to create any additional obligations not otherwise imposed or to detract from any existing obligations.
Appendix E of this section is a protocol which may be followed in the validation of alternative measuring devices as equivalent to the vertical elutriator cotton dust sampler. Other protocols may be used if it is demonstrated that they are statistically valid, meet the requirements in paragraph (d)(l)(iii) of this section, and are appropriate for demonstrating equivalency.
[43 FR 27394, June 23, 1978; 43 FR 35035, Aug. 8, 1978, as amended at 45 FR 67340, Oct. 10, 1980; 50 FR 51173, Dec. 13, 1985; 51 FR 24325, July 3, 1986; 54 FR 24334, June 7, 1989; 61 FR 5508, Feb. 13, 1996; 63 FR 1290, Jan. 8, 1998; 65 FR 76567, Dec. 7, 2000; 70 FR 1142, Jan. 5, 2005; 71 FR 16672, 16673, Apr. 3, 2006; 71 FR 50189, Aug. 24, 2006; 73 FR 75586, Dec. 12, 2008; 76 FR 33609, June 8, 2011; 77 FR 17782, Mar. 26, 2012; 84 FR 21490, May 14, 2019]