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Unified Agenda - Table of Contents


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

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655

CFR Citation: Not yet determined

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: OSHA was petitioned in March 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. In January OSHA began rulemaking to address the hazards of exposure to ETS and IAQ issues.

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, respiratory disease, Legionnaire's disease, asthma, and other ailments are estimated to be linked to this occupational hazard. Further, America's workers are at risk of developing thousands of upper respiratory symptoms and headaches from poor indoor air quality (IAQ). EPA estimates that 20 to 35 percent of all workers in modern mechanically ventilated buildings may experience air-quality problems.

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 jurisdiction. OSHA preliminarily estimates that 5,583 to 32,502 cancer deaths and 97,700 to 577,818 coronary heart diseases related to occupational exposure to ETS will be prevented over the next 45 years. This represents 140 to 722 cancer deaths and 2,094 to 13,001 heart diseases each year. OSHA preliminarily estimates that the proposed standard will prevent 4.5 million upper respiratory problems over the next 45 years.


Action Date FR Cite

Request for Information 09/20/91 56 FR 47892
NPRM 04/05/94 59 FR 15968
NPRM Comment Period End 08/13/94 59 FR 30560
Comment Period End 08/13/94
Final Action 00/00/00

Small Entities Affected: Undetermined

Government Levels Affected: Undetermined

Agency Contact: Adam Finkel, Director, Health Standards Programs, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N3718, FP Building, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 219-7075
Fax: 202 219-7125

RIN: 1218-AB37

Unified Agenda - Table of Contents

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