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OSHA Trade Release

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Trade News Release
July 17, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA conducts lookback review of Methylene Chloride Standard

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in the July 11, 2007 Federal Register they are accepting public comments on the review of its Methylene Chloride (MC) Standard 29 CFR §1910.1052 (62 FR 1494). In 1997, OSHA promulgated the Standard to protect employees from occupational exposure to MC. The notice asks the public to suggest how the Standard's applicability or requirements could be changed or tailored to reduce the burden on employers while maintaining employee protection. OSHA is accepting comments until Oct. 9, 2007.

"This is a major health Standard that affects many small businesses. Overexposure to Methylene Chloride can cause respiratory or central nervous system failure, and poses an increased risk of cancer to exposed employees," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "We are seeking information that will help the Standard's economic impact on small businesses while maintaining protections for all employees who work with this chemical."

OSHA's Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis conducts retrospective reviews of final standards in accordance with the regulatory review provisions of Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, 51739, October 4, 1993). These retrospective reviews are more commonly referred to as "lookback," or Section 610 reviews.

Methylene chloride has a number of uses such as metal degreasing and aircraft paint removal. It is also used to strip finishes from furniture prior to refinishing as well as in the manufacture of other chemicals.

Public comments must be submitted no later than Oct. 9, 2007 and can be sent by regular mail, express, hand delivery, or by courier service. Comments should be sent to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0024, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N2625, Washington, DC 20210. Comments are also accepted electronically at, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments may be sent by FAX to (202) 693-1648.

Further information may be obtained from Joanna Dizikes Friedrich, Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, OSHA, Room N3641, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-1939.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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