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 http://www.osha.gov.

October 15, 1999

Ms. Gail Sheridan
Attorney for the Labor Commissioner
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209

Dear Ms. Sheridan:

Thank you for your letter sent to us in May regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit case, Color Pigments Manufacturers Association v. OSHA, decided in 1994. In this case, the 11th Circuit remanded the Cadmium Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1027, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for inquiry into the technological and economic feasibility for dry color formulators to meet the permissible exposure limit (PEL) and the possible need for a Special Engineering Control Air Limit (SECAL). We apologize for our delayed response.

You ask what instructions Federal Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) have been given with regard to enforcing the Cadmium Standard PEL provision, 29 CFR 1910.1027(c), at dry color formulator operations, both in the 11th Circuit and in other circuits. Federal CSHOs were informed, via a memorandum of September 1, 1994, to all OSHA Regional Administrators (enclosed), that they are not to enforce 29 CFR 1910.1027(c) at dry color formulator operations anywhere in the country. The cadmium dust exposure limits in Table Z-2 in the Air Contaminants Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1000, are to be applied to occupational exposures at dry color formulator operations.

You also ask if OSHA has taken any action concerning the 11th Circuit's remand of 29 CFR 1910.1027(c) to us for a specific inquiry into the feasibility of the dry color formulators meeting the PEL and the possible need for a SECAL. While this remand issue remains a concern to OSHA, our resources have been applied to other priority activities. OSHA has not, as of the present time, resolved this remand issue.

As discussed between you and Melody Sands, Director of the Office of Health Compliance Assistance, on October 14, the above-mentioned September 1, 1994 memorandum to OSHA Regional Administrators was inadvertently not posted on OSHA's Internet web site. Please be assured that this important document will appear on our Homepage in the near future, and we apologize for any inconvenience this oversight may have caused.

We hope you find this information helpful. In addition, please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, please again consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-2190.


Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs