• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    Identification, Classification, and Regulation of Carcinogens
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    General statement of regulatory policy.
  • GPO Source:

This part establishes the criteria and procedures under which substances will be regulated by OSHA as potential occupational carcinogens. Although the conclusive identification of "carcinogens" is a complex matter "on the frontiers of science," (IUD v. Hodgson 499 F. 2d 467, 474 (D.C. Cir. 1974)), responsible health regulatory policy requires that criteria should be specified for the identification of substances which should be regulated as posing potential cancer risks to workers.

The criteria established by this part are based on an extensive review of scientific data and opinions. The part provides for amending these criteria in light of new scientific developments. Decisions as to whether any particular substance meets the criteria or not will be consistent with the policies and procedures established by this part and will be based upon scientific evaluation of the evidence on that substance.
This part applies to individual substances, groups of substances, or combinations or mixtures of substances which may be found in workplaces in the United States. In individual rulemaking proceedings under this part, the identity and range of substances and mixtures to be covered by the standard will be specified and the appropriateness of applying the available evidence to the range of substances and mixtures proposed for regulation will be subject to scientific and policy review.
Potential occupational carcinogens will be identified and classified on the basis of human epidemiological studies and/or experimental carcinogenesis bioassays in mammals. Positive results in short term tests will also be used as concordant evidence.
Potential occupational carcinogens will be classified and regulated in accordance with the policy. The scientific evidence as to whether individual substances meet these criteria will be considered in individual rulemakings. The issues which may be considered in these rulemakings will be limited as specified herein.
This policy provides for the classification of potential occupational carcinogens into two categories depending on the nature and extent of the available scientific evidence. The two categories of potential occupational carcinogens may be regulated differently.
The policy establishes a procedure for setting priorities and making them public.
Worker exposure to Category I Potential Carcinogens will be reduced Primarily through the use of engineering and work practice controls.
Worker exposure to Category II Potential Carcinogens will be reduced as appropriate and consistent with the statutory requirements on a case-by-case basis in the rulemaking proceedings on individual substances. Any permissible exposure level so established shall be met primarily through engineering and work practice controls.
The assessment of cancer risk to workers resulting from exposure to a potential occupational carcinogen will be made on the basis of available data. Because of the uncertainties and serious consequences to workers if the estimated risk is understated, cautious and prudent assumptions will be utilized to perform risk assessments.
Where the Secretary determines that one or more suitable substitutes exist for certain uses of Category I Potential Carcinogens that are less hazardous to humans, a no occupational exposure level shall be set for those uses, to be achieved solely through the use of engineering and work practice controls to encourage substitution. In determining whether a substitute is suitable, the Secretary will consider the technological and economic feasibility of the introduction of the substitute, including its relative effectiveness and other relevant factors, such as regulatory requirements and the time needed for an orderly transition to the substitute.

[45 FR 5282, Jan. 22, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 5881, Jan. 21, 1981]