Rely on Occupational Safety & Health ReporterSM for full news coverage and documentation of federal and state workplace safety and health programs, standards, legislation,...
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health requested information Aug. 23 on key issues related to its carcinogen and recommended exposure limit policy review, including whether there should be an explicit carcinogen policy rather than a broader policy on toxicant classification.
The request, in the Aug. 23 Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 52,664), also sought comment on what evidence should form the basis for determining substances are carcinogens and how NIOSH should categorize them; and how the phrase “to the extent feasible” should be interpreted and applied with respect to the REL policy.
NIOSH began reviewing its policy in December 2010 following public criticisms of its asbestos research road map, which described asbestos as a “potential occupational carcinogen,” before revising it to state the fiber can cause cancer and asbestosis. The institute has no graver classification to describe the health effects of asbestos, however, and has thus formed an internal work group to examine revisions to its cancer and recommended exposure limit policies (41 OSHR 649, 7/28/11).
In Aug. 23 notice, NIOSH also asked for comment on whether 1 in 1,000 working lifetime risk for workers exposed to carcinogens is appropriate or if it should be made more protective and what assumptions, in the absence of data, are appropriate in the development of limits.
One policy observer told BNA Aug. 23 she supports the NIOSH review and hopes it will assist the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in revising its own permissible exposure limits. OSHA set out to explore strategies for revising its exposure limits in coordination with NIOSH in 2010, but to date it has proposed no revisions.
“I think it's great NIOSH is doing this and I think they're asking the right questions,” Celeste Monforton, an adjunct professor at George Washington University's School of Public Health, said. “I would hope OSHA would benefit and use the investment in resources that NIOSH puts into its REL program.”
Finally, the institute asked for comment on what the utility of an action level is and how it should address worker exposure to complex mixtures.
Responses to the request for information are due Sept. 22. NIOSH also announced it will hold a public meeting on the review, although it has not yet been scheduled.
By Greg Hellman
Information on NIOSH's review of its carcinogen and REL policy is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/cancer/policy.html .
The Federal Register notice is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-23/html/2011-21405.htm .
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)