OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002
Contact: Layne Lathram
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it plans to go forward with proposed rulemaking on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium.
"The health risks associated with occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium are serious and demand serious attention," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "We are committed to developing a rule that ensures proper protection to safeguard workers who deal with hexavalent chromium."
OSHA published a request for information in the Federal Register on Aug. 22 asking for public comments relating to hexavalent chromium, most commonly used as a structural and anti-corrosive element in the production of stainless steel, iron and steel, and in electroplating, welding and painting. Exposures to the metal have been associated with lung cancer, other respiratory problems, and dermatoses.
"The comments received from our request for information will be helpful as we go forward with the rulemaking process," Henshaw said.
OSHA's request for information included: health effects; risk assessment; methods of analyzing exposure levels; investigations into occupational exposures, control measures, and technological and economic impact feasibility; use of personal protective equipment and respirators; current employee training and medical screening programs; and environmental and small business impacts.
The agency received 26 comments resulting from the request for information. The comments included more than 100 documents and attachments. The comment period ended Nov. 20.
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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