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October 24, 2013

New Hazardous Chemical Resources from OSHA

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Today OSHA launched two new web resources to help companies keep workers safe from potentially dangerous chemicals.

"There is no question that many of OSHA's chemical standards are not adequately protective," said OSHA head Dr. David Michaels. "... simply complying with OSHA's antiquated PELs will not guarantee that workers will be safe," he said. "We know that the most efficient and effective way to protect workers from hazardous chemicals is by eliminating or replacing those chemicals with safer alternatives whenever possible."

To address these problems, OSHA has created two new resource websites:

Transitioning to Safer Chemicals is a toolkit that will help businesses improve worker well-being by eliminating or reducing hazardous chemicals. While many chemicals are suspected of being harmful, OSHA's exposure standards are out-of-date and inadequately protective for the small number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace. The toolkit includes methods, tools and guidance to eliminate hazardous chemicals or find substitutions.

Permissible Exposure Limits – Annotated Tables presents existing Z-Tables with other selected occupational exposure limits. It includes side-by-side comparisons of OSHA PELs for general industry with California OSH PELs, NIOSH recommended exposure limits, and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist threshold limit values. The site is a convenient source for up-to-date workplace exposure limits.

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