Magazine article Occupational Hazards

ASSE: Not Enough Science to Support HEX Chrome PEL

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

ASSE: Not Enough Science to Support HEX Chrome PEL

Article excerpt

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Gene Barfield, CSP, has sent a letter to OSHA lauding the agency for its efforts to update the permissible exposure limit for hexavalent chromium but adding that more scientific evidence is needed to support the proposed standard.

In his letter to OSHA, Barfield said that hexavalent chromium (CR[VI]) is a risk to employees at the current permissible exposure limit (PEL), and that an update is needed to reduce the risks employees exposed to hexavalent chromium face in developing lung cancer, asthma and damage to the nasal epithelia and skin.

"However, ASSE does not believe that enough scientific evidence exists at this time to support the 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit of 1 microgram of Cr(VI) per cubic meter of air (1 [micro]g/[m.sup.3]) for all Cr(VI) this rulemaking would set," Barfield wrote. "While our members fully agree a new, more stringent standard is needed, they believe additional research is needed before this or any specific standard can be supported."

Still, Barfield said that when the standard moves forward, requirements for the highest level of professional safety and health management are needed to meet the complexity of the risks posed by hexavalent chromium. …

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