Skip to Main Content

Keeping you informed

OSHA Seeking Nominations for New or Revised Hazardous Substance Exposure Limits

    Client Alerts
  • August 27, 2010

Last week, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration's website began soliciting public nominations for establishment or revision of permissible exposure limits (PELs) for hazardous chemicals. The agency explained that many of the PELs have not been studied or revised since their original adoption, as long as 40 years ago. OSHA stated its intent to not only revisit existing PELs, but to study and potentially add limits for additional chemicals whose use has become more prevalent in the workplace. OSHA explained that many of the original PELs are inadequate due to new science demonstrating negative health effects at levels significantly lower than the current regulatory thresholds.

Any revisions or additions to OSHA's hazardous substance standards would require a formal rulemaking process, including a notice and comment period. While the move toward reviewing and revising hazardous substance PELs is not surprising, the idea of soliciting public input for deciding which chemicals to focus upon is a new approach. OSHA indicated its intent to establish this web forum for purposes of guiding its approach at the early stages of the rulemaking process.