OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.52 CH-1 October 7, 1991 Office of Health Compliance
Subject: Page Changes to OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.52
A. Purpose. This instruction transmits page changes and Appendix G to
OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.52. Subject: Enforcement Procedures for
Occupational Exposure to Formaldehyde, dated November 20, 1990.
B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
C. Action. Replace existing pages with the attached CH-1 pages as follows:
Existing Pages Replacement Pages
11-12 11-12 17-18
17-18 19-20 19-20 None
D. Background. On July 15, 1991, OSHA issued a proposed revision to the
formaldehyde standard, 29 CFR 1910.1048, in a response primarily to a remand
by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in UAW v. Pendergrass, 878
F.2d 389 (D.C. Cir. 1989). The page changes address the interim enforcement
policy as a result of the proposed amendments. In addition, a summary of the
comparison of the current standard with the proposed changes is presented in
Appendix G of this instruction. Additional changes to the directive will be
made once the revisions to the standard are final.
E. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal program
change which affects State programs. Each Regional Administrator shall:
1. Ensure that a copy of this change is promptly forwarded to each
State designee, using a format consistent with the Plan Change Two-way
Memorandum in Appendix P, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-2.
2. Advise the State designees that in responding to this change
they should follow the Federal program change procedures contained in OSHA
Instruction CPL 2-2.52, Paragraph E. 2. through 5.
3. Ensure that the State designees submit a plan supplement, in
accordance with OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, Ch-3, as appropriate, following
the established schedule that is agreed upon by the State and Regional
Administrator to submit non- FOM/OTM Federal program changes.
a. If a State intends to follow OSHA's policy described in
this instruction, the State must submit either a revised version of this
instruction, adapted as appropriate to reference State law, regulations and
administrative structure, or a cover sheet describing how references in this
instruction correspond to the State's structure. The State's acknowledgment
of the Plan Change Two- way Memorandum may fulfill the plan supplement
requirement if the appropriate documentation is provided.
b. If the State adopts an alternative to Federal guidelines,
the State's submission must identify and provide a rationale for all
substantial differences from Federal guidelines in order for OSHA to judge
whether a different State procedure is as effective as comparable Federal
4. Review policies, instructions and guidelines issued by the
State to determine that this change has been communicated to State program
Gerard F. Scannell Assistant Secretary
Distribution: National, Regional and Area Offices Compliance Officers State
Designees NIOSH Regional Program Directors 7(c)(1) Project Managers
OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.52 CH-1 October 7, 1991 Office
of Health Compliance Assistance
contaminants which affect the same body systems as formaldehyde,
citations should be issued per the FOM, Chapter IV, C.6.c. This manual cites
paragraph 29 CFR 1910.1000(d)(2) of the Air Contaminants standard for use in
cases where there are potential additive and synergistic effects. The Air
Contaminants standard, 29 CFR 1910.1000(d)(2)(i), contains a formula which
has the effect of proportionally reducing the PEL of each regulated toxic
element of the multiple exposure. Paragraph (d)(2)(i) requires employers to
meet these adjusted PELs where there is an exposure to a mixture of air
contaminants regulated by Subpart Z.
a. When documenting a violation, review the feasibility | of
abatement methods and identify the shared | target organ effects of
the contaminants. The body | system primarily affected by
formaldehyde is the | respiratory system (upper and lower). The
immune | system may also be affected since formaldehyde is a |
sensitizer which provokes an IgE immunoglobulin | mediated response.
Appendix F contains guidance for | calculating the adjusted PELs and
SAEs (sampling and | analytical errors). The adjusted PEL should
apply | only to enforcement of paragraphs (c) , Permissible |
Exposure Limit and (f) , Methods of compliance. The | STEL and AL
should not be adjusted for mixtures for | compliance evaluations. | |
b. The proposed PEL cannot be enforced until the | revisions are
final. During the interim, it is | important to advise the employer
of the proposed | PEL. Any citations written during the interim for
| PEL violations should include a notice of the | proposed
lower PEL in the narrative. | 3. Paragraph (d), Exposure Monitoring.
Paragraph (d) of the formaldehyde standard requires employers to determine
their employees' exposure to formaldehyde if any mixture or solution present
in the workplace contains 0.1 percent or more of formaldehyde, or if
materials capable of releasing formaldehyde into the workplace air result in
employees being exposed to formaldehyde at concentrations reaching or
exceeding 0.1 ppm. The CSHO should verify the employee exposure via bulk or
a. Objective Data. The exposure determination must consist of
actual measurements unless the employer can produce objective data to
document that no employee will be exposed to formaldehyde at concentrations
exceeding the 0.5 ppm (TWA) action level (AL), or the 2 ppm STEL under
foreseeable conditions of use. Industry-wide studies or generic exposure
estimates may be a source of objective data; however, the use of such data
must accurately characterize actual employee exposures. For exposures less
than the AL or STEL, area samples may also be used as the basis for exposure
determinations, if they represent those exposures.
b. Medical Complaints. Regardless of employee exposure level,
if there are employee health complaints, the employer is required to take
action to determine employee exposure.
c. Exception. If mixtures or solutions composed of 0.1
percent or less of formaldehyde are used, employee exposure is below 0.1 ppm,
and there are no employee health complaints then an employer should not be
cited for not monitoring. (See 29 CFR
d. Repeat Monitoring. If there is a change in production,
equipment, process, personnel, or control measures, which may result in a new
or additional exposure to formaldehyde, the initial monitoring shall be
repeated. For example, apparel manufacturers and other producers/users of
formaldehyde resin finished fabrics may need to repeat initial determinations
with different fabric lots.
e. Sampling Methods. As long as the method selected for
sampling and analysis meets the criteria for precision and accuracy set out
in the formaldehyde standard, the employer is free to choose from many
methods available for monitoring exposure to formaldehyde.
(1) Among the methods available are the chromotrophic acid
method which relies on use of a midget impinger, gas employee exposed between
the action level and the 1 ppm TWA limit is showing signs and symptoms that
may be formaldehyde-related, the employer must administer to the employee a
medical disease questionnaire without delay. If the physician determines, on
the basis of the medical disease questionnaire, that it is necessary to
examine the employee, the employee would then be sent to the physician for
(3) If exposures are less than 0.5 ppm but the employee is
showing signs and symptoms that may be formaldehyde-related, the employee
must be evaluated via a medical disease questionnaire, and further
surveillance would be conducted on the basis of the physician's
determination, as it is for concentrations between 0.5 and 1
b. Paragraph (l)(3)(ii) requires the physician to make a
determination, based on evaluation of the medical disease questionnaire, as
to whether additional medical surveillance specified in paragraph (l)(4);
i.e., a medical examination, is necessary to ensure the employee is not being
placed at increased risk of material impairment of health from exposure to
formaldehyde. In some cases, the physician will require additional
information from the medical examinations before a final written opinion can
be given. When the physician does not require additional information to
reach a determination about the employee's health, the determination made in
paragraph (l)(3)(ii) must be provided to the employer in writing, and a copy
given to the employee within 15 days of its receipt by the
c. Emergencies pose a very different situation from routine
surveillance. If the employer has determined that an emergency situation
could occur, then there must be a prior arrangement with a physician or
hospital to ensure that any employee acutely exposed to formaldehyde in an
emergency receives proper medical intervention, as required by paragraph (k).
The plan must also specify what information should be given to emergency
care providers, per the requirements of paragraph (1)(6), and how it is to be
8. Paragraph (m), Hazard Communication. On December 13, 1988,
OSHA announced in the Federal Register an administrative stay of paragraphs
(m)(l)(i) through (m)(4)(ii) of the formaldehyde standard. OSHA has extended
the stay until the revision to the standard is final.
| a. In the interim, OSHA will continue to enforce the |
HCS with respect to formaldehyde. For abatement | purposes
one can meet the proposed hazard | communication provisions of
the formaldehyde | standard.
b. Paragraph (m)(1) was not stayed. It reemphasizes that
hazard communication covers formaldehyde exposures occurring in the
manufacture and use of wood products. When applicable, this paragraph shall
be cited along with appropriate violations under the HCS.
9. Paragraph (n), Employee Information and Training.
a. All employees exposed to formaldehyde at concentrations at
or above 0.1 ppm or to solutions containing greater than 0.1 percent or more
of formaldehyde must receive initial training upon hire.
b. All employees exposed at or above the action level or the
STEL must be trained annually.
c. The administrative stay on paragraph (m), Hazard
Communication, does not affect the status of the training requirements under
(1) Training for formaldehyde conducted after April 4,
1988, must cover all applicable requirements contained in paragraph (n)(3) of
the new formaldehyde standard. (See March 2, 1988, Federal Register, at 53
(2) Employees previously trained on formaldehyde's hazards
under the HCS (29 CFR 1910.1200) must be retrained in order to cover
additional information contained in the new formaldehyde
(3) Retraining and initial training for employees not
previously covered by 29 CFR 1910.1200 must be provided as soon as possible
once the employer has identified that they are exposed to formaldehyde. A
reasonable amount of time should be given the employer to permit
identification of affected employees and to obtain training materials. In no
case should more than 3 months after completion of monitoring be permitted.
(Note that the start-up date for initial monitoring was by August 2,
(4) The training provisions of paragraph (n) are to be
cited rather than the HCS information and training requirements if the
employee is covered by (n).
d. Appendix A to the formaldehyde standard provides general
information which is appropriate for a training program. This outline would
need to be supplemented by plant specific information. In addition, the OSHA
hazard recognition training program on formaldehyde may be of assistance to
employers who need to train employees. The program includes information on
the new standard but it is being revised to more fully reflect the changes.
(See OSHA Fact Sheet 89-27.)
10. Paragraph (p), Dates. Since all dates in this section have
passed, all paragraphs are in effect for all industries. Appendix D to this
instruction gives specific effective dates by paragraph.
11. Supplemental Information. Appendix E to this instruction
summarizes the formaldehyde standard triggering events.
|J. Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). For | abatement
purposes one can comply with the proposed hazard | communication
provisions of the formaldehyde standard. |
K. Inspection Procedures. The following procedures shall be followed in
addition to the guidance in the FOM, OTM, and IMIS Forms Manual.
1. Authorization to Review Limited Medical Information.
Appropriately qualified compliance personnel are authorized to review medical
disease questionnaires and medical opinions mandated by the formaldehyde
standard when the limitations and procedures in OSHA Instructions CPL 2-2.30
and CPL 2-2.33 are followed.
a. Qualified compliance personnel are industrial hygienists or
professionals with training in medical disciplines.
b. This authorization is pursuant to 29 CFR
2. Recording in the IMIS. In addition to current instructions for
completing the OSHA-1, as found in the IMIS Manual, the following shall be
recorded in Item 42 for all inspections where employee exposure to
formaldehyde is investigated for compliance with 29 CFR 1910.1048 and/or 29
Type ID Value
N 16 Form
3. Contested Cases. For contested cases of 29 CFR 1910.1200
involving formaldehyde which the Regional Administrator supports as strong
cases, the Regional Administrator shall expeditiously send a brief memorandum
summarizing the facts to the Director, Directorate of Compliance Programs.
After the information is reviewed at the National Office, the Regional
Administrator will be notified if the
COMPARISON OF THE CURRENT PROVISIONS OF THE
FORMALDEHYDE STANDARD, 29 CFR 1910.1048,
WITH THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
PEL is 1.0 ppm TWA.
Action level is 0.5 ppm TWA.
STEL is 2.0 ppm (15 min.).
Exposure monitoring is conducted initially over 0.1 ppm, and continued
periodically at or above the action level or STEL.
No current provisions.
Label identifying "formaldehyde", the name and address of responsible party
and containing appropriate hazard warnings including "Potential Cancer
Hazard" required at 0.1% or 0.1 ppm.
MSDS required at 0.1% or 0.1 ppm
Training required initially at 0.1 ppm or to solutions containing greater
than 0.1% or more formaldehyde. Repeated annually at or above action level or
PEL is reduced to 0.75 ppm TWA
In addition to current provisions, exposure monitoring will be initiated
upon report of signs or symptoms of respiratory or dermal conditions
-Two week evaluation/remediation period. -Wages, seniority, benefits
maintained. -Limited to 6 months per determination. -Multiple physician
No changes except the following for solid materials capable of releasing
-Label identifying "formaldehyde" and that physical and health hazard
information is available from employer and MSDS's required at 0.1 ppm. -Label
including "Potential Cancer Hazard" required above 0.5 ppm
Training required initially and annually above 0.1 ppm.