OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is soliciting comments on the labor-management agreement in the synthetic rubber industry recommending improved protection against 1,3-butadiene (BD), a cancer-causing air contaminant.
OSHA believes the agreement contains provisions that will greatly improve worker health and therefore should be included in the final revised BD standard. However, the agency wants to be certain of the meaning and effect of the provisions.
The agreement in the industry was between the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), which merged with the United Rubber Workers (URW), the International Chemical Workers Union (ICWU), and representatives of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP).
OSHA also is seeking comments on changes to its proposed revision of the BD standard. These medical surveillance changes would include relying on a medical questionaire instead of some of the proposed yearly physical examinations. Comment is also requested on the appropriateness of removing BD-exposed workers from their job for medical reasons.
The agreement recommends reducing the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for BD by a factor of 1000, from the current 1000 parts per million (ppm) limit to a new PEL of 1 ppm.
Comments are sought on the provisions in the agreement on definitions, exposure monitoring, the exposure goal program, respirators, medical surveillance, and communication of BD hazards to employees.
The comments must be postmarked by April 8 and should be submitted in quadruplicate to the OSHA Docket Office (Docket No. H-041), Room N2625, US Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20210. Comments limited to 10 pages or less may also be transmitted by facsimile to (202) 219-5046, provided the original and the four copies are sent later to the Docket Office.
All materials submitted will be available for inspection and copying at the Docket Office.
The notice of the reopening of the record is in the Friday, March 8, 1996, Federal Register.
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