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1965. INDOOR AIR QUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE

Priority: Economically Significant. Major status under 5 USC 801 is undetermined.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910; 29 CFR 1915; 29 CFR 1926; 29 CFR 1928

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA was petitioned in May 1987 by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Public Citizen, and the American Public Health Association to issue an emergency temporary standard on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace. In March 1992, OSHA was petitioned by the AFL-CIO to establish workplace IAQ standards. In December 1992, ASH again petitioned for rulemaking on ETS.

Every day, more than 20 million American workers face an unnecessary health threat because of indoor air pollution in the workplace. Thousands of heart disease deaths, hundreds of lung cancer deaths, and many cases of respiratory disease, Legionnaire's disease, asthma, and other ailments are estimated to be linked to this occupational hazard. EPA estimates that 20 to 35 percent of all workers in modern mechanically ventilated buildings may experience air-quality related signs and symptoms.

After reviewing and analyzing available information, OSHA published a proposed rule on April 5, 1994. The proposal would require employers to write and implement indoor air quality compliance plans that would include inspection and maintenance of current building ventilation systems to ensure they are functioning as designed. In buildings where smoking is allowed, the proposal would require designated smoking areas that would be separate, enclosed rooms where the air would be exhausted directly to the outside. Other proposed provisions would require employers to maintain healthy air quality during renovation, remodeling, and similar activities. The provisions for indoor air quality would apply to 70 million workers and more than 4.5 million nonindustrial indoor work environments, including schools and training centers, offices, commercial establishments, health care facilities, cafeterias and factory break rooms. ETS provisions would apply to all 6 million industrial and nonindustrial work environments under OSHA's jurisdiction. OSHA preliminarily estimates that the proposed standard will prevent a substantial number of air-quality related illnesses per year.

Timetable:

ActionDateFR Cite

Request for Information 09/20/9156 FR 47892
NPRM 04/05/94 59 FR 15968
NPRM Comment Period End08/13/9459 FR 30560
Record Closed 02/09/96 
Next Action Undetermined   

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined in EO 13132.

Agency Contact: Marthe B. Kent, Acting Director, Directorate of Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3718, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210 Phone: 202 693-1950 Fax: 202 693-1678

RIN: 1218-AB37


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