Unified Agenda - Table of Contents Unified Agenda - Table of Contents

2037. 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, 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 tract symptoms from indoor air pollutants. 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's jurisdiction. OSHA preliminarily estimates that the proposed standard will prevent a substantial number of air-quality related illnesses per year.

Timetable:

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
Record Closed 02/09/96  
Final Action To Be Determined

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: 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: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: adam.finkel@osha.gov

RIN: 1218-AB37



Unified Agenda - Table of Contents Unified Agenda - Table of Contents