OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Trade News Release
Friday, September 8, 2000
Contact: Bill Wright
PHONE: (202) 693-1999
APRs acceptable for use against chemicals with poor odor-warning properties
OSHA CLARIFIES POLICY ON USE OF AIR PURIFYING RESPIRATORS FOR DIISOCYANATES The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has clarified its policy on the use of air purifying respirators (APRs) to protect workers exposed to diisocyanates -- a group of chemicals with poor odor-warning properties.
Under the Respiratory Protection Standard, revised in January 1998, employers may use air purifying gas and vapor respirator cartridges for hazardous chemicals, including those with little or no odor-warning properties. Diisocyanates are contained in chemical compounds widely used in the manufacture of flexible and rigid insulating foams and specialized paints and varnishes, and are increasingly used in the automobile industry, auto body repair, and construction. Vapors from these chemicals can cause eye damage, skin irritation and sensitization, and various respiratory ailments.
"We're clarifying this policy," explained OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress, "because the new standard makes obsolete some earlier interpretive letters on the use of APRs for protection against the chemicals. We want to make sure there is no confusion about the use of APRs under our standard and compliance directive."
OSHA's policy on the use of APRs for protection against chemicals with little or no odor-warning properties was outlined in both the respiratory protection standard, as well as its compliance directive in September 1998. The policy was also explained in an interpretive letter on July 18, 2000 in response to requests for clarification. It is attached to this press release and can also be viewed on OSHA's web site at:
For more information on the Respiratory Protection Standard, an advisor is available on OSHA's web site at http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/etools/respiratory/index.html. In addition to providing assistance on selecting proper respiratory protection and developing change schedules, the advisor provides easy access to the standard, its compliance directive and other related materials.
This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web 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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