Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Official Urges Release of Beryllium Exposure Data

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Official Urges Release of Beryllium Exposure Data

Article excerpt

More than 2 months after OSHA disclosed that 10 of 271 inspectors tested are sensitized to the highly toxic metal beryllium, the agency is still resisting calls that it release the concentrations of beryllium found at each inspection where a sensitized employee conducted sampling.

An OSHA official, whose name was withheld by the agency, explained in a written statement that, "the data available is limited to sampling and inspection history, not exposure in the traditional industrial hygiene sense."

In a May 13 letter to the ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, OSHA whistleblower Adam Finkel, Sc.D., CIH, wrote, "It is crucial that OSHA release immediately the exposure histories of the 10 sensitized employees, which it can do using data in its possession with a trivial amount of effort."

Finkel now teaches at Princeton University, although he is still on the OSHA payroll. Finkel said he does not speak for the agency. OSHA denies Finkel's allegation that it retaliated against him for going public with his demand that OSHA inspectors be offered blood tests for beryllium sensitization.

"Ridiculous," according to Finkel's letter, is OSHA's argument that its sampling data is not "exposure in the traditional industrial hygiene sense."

Peter Lurie, M.D., MPH, deputy director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said the information OSHA declines to release offers a "fantastic scientific opportunity to define the lower levels of exposures and their relationship to beryllium sensitization. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.