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.

April 26, 1994

Mr. Gerald W. Lancour
McDonnell Douglas
Post Office Box 516
Saint Louis, Missouri 63166-00516

Dear Mr. Lancour:

This is in further response to your letter of June 17, 1993, concerning rule 29 CFR 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii) in the Cadmium standard for General Industry. Please accept our apology for the long delay in providing our response.

Rule 29 CFR 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii) states, "Where feasible, installed cadmium products shall have a visible label or other indication that cadmium is present." You seek clarification as to the amount of cadmium a product must contain before this rule comes into effect.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) intends for the cadmium content initiating the applicability of the rule to conform with the criteria in the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, for initiating the requirement to label carcinogens. Labeling is definitely required if the content of cadmium is 0.1 percent or greater (refer to 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(5)(ii)). Labeling is required at a lower concentration if the manufacturer, importer, or employer has evidence to indicate that cadmium present in the product in concentrations of less than 0.1 percent could be released in airborne concentrations which would exceed the OSHA permissible exposure limit for cadmium (refer to 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(5)(iv)).

If an item is mechanically coated with cadmium powder, coated with cadmium-containing paint, cadmium plated, or otherwise surface-treated with cadmium, then the content of cadmium in the material applied to the surface determines whether labelling is required. Under that situation it is inappropriate to base the labelling decision on the content of cadmium in the item.

The label is not required to contain cadmium hazard information. The only information it needs to convey is the location of cadmium-containing products. Please bear in mind that the beneficiaries of the labeling of installed cadmium-containing products include, but are not limited to, employers and their employees engaged in waste disposal, recycling of materials, maintenance work, or repair work. Rule 29 CFR 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii) does not apply to a product manufactured before December 14, 1992, except to the extent that employers using the product have existing knowledge or learn incidentally of cadmium-containing items or materials installed in the product.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you.


Ruth E. McCully, Director
Office of Health Compliance Assistance

June 17, 1993

Mr. Roger Clark, Director of Compliance
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Mr. Clark:

McDonnell Douglas Corporation requests your assistance in interpreting the Cadmium Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1027. In our review of the standard we have a question pertaining to labeling of parts which contain trace levels of cadmium.

The Cadmium Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii) states "Where feasible, installed cadmium products shall have a visible label or other indication cadmium is present." The preamble to the Cadmium Standard, Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 178, page 42376, cites that if there is a potential for the down-stream user to be exposed above the action level, labeling is required. In addition, as required by the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C)(1 and 2), labeling is necessary when parts contain cadmium at concentrations of 0.1% or greater by weight.

McDonnell Douglas Corporation believes the criteria of labeling within 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii) is inconsistent with and far more stringent than the latter two criteria (Cadmium Preamble and Hazard Communication Standard). Further, McDonnell Douglas Corporation believes complying the latter two criteria provides for protection of the down-stream user and reduces the significant burden of labeling small parts and materials containing trace amounts of cadmium.

In light of this inconsistency in labeling requirements and our concern for worker protection, will complying with the labeling guidance offered within the preamble and as required by the Hazard Communication Standard meet the intent and purpose of labeling as stated in the Cadmium Standard?

Your assistance in this interpretation effort is greatly appreciated. Please advise if you require further information.

Gerald W. Lancour, Director
Safety, Health and Environmental Affairs