OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is asking for comments and information from the public to help the agency determine the best way to address occupational exposures to hexavalent chromium. The request for information is scheduled to be published in the Aug. 22, 2002, Federal Register.
Hexavalent chromium is most commonly used as a structural and anti-corrosive element in the production of stainless steel, ferrochromium, iron and steel, and in electroplating, welding and painting. Exposures to the metal have been associated with lung cancer, dermatoses, and some respiratory problems.
"We already know there are risks involved in the occupational use of this metal," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "But, there are a number of complex issues to be addressed, including differences in opinion on the interpretation of health effects data, current uses and exposures. We believe that giving interested members of the public an opportunity to be heard on these issues will help us determine the best strategy to reduce the occupational health risks."
OSHA's request for information is arranged among numerous topics that include: health effects; risk assessment; methods of analyzing exposure levels; investigations into occupational exposures, control measures, and technological and economic feasibility; use of personal protective equipment and respirators; current employee training and medical screening programs; and environmental and small business impacts.
Comments must be submitted by Nov. 20, 2002. To submit comments by regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery or messenger service, send three copies and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. H-0054a, Room N2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20210. You may also fax comments (10 pages or fewer) by calling the Docket Office fax at (202) 693-1648. Include the docket number in your comments. Finally, comments may be submitted electronically through the Internet at http://ecomments.osha.gov. Further information on submitting comments can be obtained by calling the Docket Office at (202) 693-2350.
OSHA's current general industry standard sets a permissible exposure limit for hexavalent chromium compounds at 100 micrograms per cubic meter as a ceiling concentration; the standard for construction is 100 micrograms per cubic meter as an 8-hour time-weighted average.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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