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Department of Labor (DOL) Prerule Stage
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


1924. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO BERYLLIUM

Priority: Economically Significant. Major under 5 USC 801.

Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined

Legal Authority: 29 USC 655(b); 29 USC 657

CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: In 1999 and 2001, OSHA was petitioned to issue an emergency temporary standard by the Paper Allied-Industrial, Chemical, and Energy Workers Union, Public Citizen Health Research Group and others. The Agency denied the petitions but stated its intent to begin data gathering to collect needed information on beryllium's toxicity, risks, and patterns of usage.

On November 26, 2002, OSHA published a Request for Information (RFI) (67 FR 70707) to solicit information pertinent to occupational exposure to beryllium including: current exposures to beryllium; the relationship between exposure to beryllium and the development of adverse health effects; exposure assessment and monitoring methods; exposure control methods; and medical surveillance. In addition, the Agency conducted field surveys of selected work sites to assess current exposures and control methods being used to reduce employee exposures to beryllium. OSHA is using this information to develop a proposed rule addressing occupational exposure to beryllium.

Statement of Need: A preliminary analysis of the available health data indicates that OSHA's current permissible exposure limits (PELs) for beryllium may not be sufficient to protect workers from the risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Workers exposed below OSHA's current PELs have become sensitized and in some cases have developed CBD. The use of beryllium has become more widespread in private industry including uses in microelectronics, automobiles, aerospace products and miscellaneous uses in alloys for products such as bicycle frames and golf clubs. This widespread use places workers at risk of exposure.

Summary of Legal Basis: The legal basis for this standard is the preliminary determination that workers are exposed to a significant risk of CBD and that rulemaking is needed to substantially reduce that risk.

Alternatives: Over the past years OSHA has attempted non-regulatory guidance to address this problem. The Agency published two hazard information bulletins to address beryllium exposures in general industry and dental labs. OSHA has determined that rulemaking is necessary and is evaluating various options.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: The scope of the proposed rulemaking and estimates of the costs and benefits are under development.

Risks: A detailed risk analysis is in development.


Timetable:

Action Date FR Cite

Request for Information
Complete SBREFA Report
11/26/02
09/00/05
67 FR 70707


Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Dorothy Dougherty, Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, FP Building, RM-3718, Washington, DC 20210
Phone: 202 693-1950
Fax: 202 693-1678
Email: dougherty.dorothy@dol.gov

RIN: 1218-AB76


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