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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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OSHA Trade Release
January 19, 2005
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA Schedules Public Hearings on Hexavalent Chromium

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold public hearings in Washington, D.C., to discuss the agency's proposed rulemaking for occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium. The hearings will begin on Feb. 1 and are expected to run through Feb. 17.

The hearings will be open to the public and will be held in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington DC. The hearing will begin each day at 9:30 a.m.

OSHA is proposing to lower its permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium and for all Cr(VI) compounds in construction, shipyards, and general industry from 52 to one microgram of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time weighted average. The proposed rule also includes provisions for employee protection such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, protective work clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.

Hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) compounds are widely used in the chemical industry in pigments, metal plating, and chemical synthesis as ingredients and catalysts. Cr(VI) can also be produced when welding on stainless steel or Cr(VI)-painted surfaces. The major health effects associated with exposure to Cr(VI) include lung cancer, asthma, nasal septum ulcerations and perforations, skin ulcerations (or chrome holes), and allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.

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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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