OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

June 24, 1987

Mr. Ralph Mosely
Mosely and Associates, Inc.
Post Office Box 150302
Nashville, Tennessee 37215

Dear Mr. Mosely:

This is in response to your letter dated May 11, regarding the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) listing of boot and shoe manufacturing and repair as an occupation causally associated with cancer in humans.

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) states that "chemical manufacturers, importers, and employers evaluating chemicals shall treat the following sources as establishing that a chemical is a carcinogen or potential carcinogen for hazard communication purposes:

"(1) National Toxicology Program (NTP) Annual Report on Carcinogens (latest edition();

"(2) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest edition);

"(3) 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart Z, toxic and Hazardous Substances, Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA]."

Since IARC lists boot and shoe manufacturers in Supplement 4, OSHA included it (Table 1 Appendix D of CPL 2-2.38A CH-2) in the group of industrial processes and occupational exposures causally associated with cancer in humans. This was for informational purposes to alert our field people that carcinogenic chemicals may be found in this industry. As indicated in Note 2 under Table 1 "these are processes on occupational exposures and are not specific chemicals." In addition Note 2 states that "the labeling requirements of the HCS will not usually apply unless a specific chemical from the process has been identified elsewhere by IARC, NTP or OSHA as a hazardous chemical." (Underlining added.) Therefore, from a compliance standpoint, only those chemicals which are specifically listed by IARC or NTP or regulated by OSHA would be subject to the requirements of the HCS.

OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.28A provides only general guidance to our compliance officers to assist them in making HCS inspections. Appendix D was added to the Instruction in order to make the IARC and NTP lists more accessible to them in the field.

Since the inclusion of industries in our guidelines does not enhance or significantly contribute toward increasing the efficiency of our enforcement program, they will be removed from the directive during the next general revision.

I hope I have fully addressed your concerns. If I can be of further assistance please feel free to contact me again.


John A. Pendergrass
Assistant Secretary