OSHA Extends Comment Period for Methylene Chloride

On Jan. 8, OSHA announced the public comment period for its methylene chloride standard will remain open until March 10.

OSHA first announced a review of this standard (29 CFR section 1910.1052) in the July 10, 2007 Federal Register and planned to accept comments until Oct. 9. The review aims to gather information suggesting how the methylene chloride standard can be altered to maintain employee protection while minimizing the economic burden for small employers.

OSHA originally issued the standard in 1997 to protect employees from occupational exposure to methylene chloride, a volatile, colorless liquid used in various industrial processes, such as aircraft paint removal and metal degreasing. The solvent also is used in the manufacture of some plastics, inks, ink solvents, foams and adhesives.

According to OSHA, employees exposed to methylene chloride are at risk of developing cancer, experiencing skin and eye irritation or damaging the heart, central nervous system and liver. The agency cites inhalation and skin contact as the most common occupational exposure methods.

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