OSHA To Conduct 'Lookback' Review of Methylene Chloride Standard

OSHA placed a notice in the July 11 <I>Federal Register</I> asking the public for suggestions on how to update the agency's methylene chloride standard (29 CFR 1919.1052) and how the standard could be changed or tailored to reduce the burden on employers while still maintaining employee protection.

“...Overexposure to methylene chloride can cause respiratory or central nervous system failure, and poses an increased risk of cancer to exposed employees,” said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke, Jr. “We are seeking information that will help the standard’s economic impact on small businesses while maintaining protections for all employees who work with this chemical.”

In 1997, OSHA promulgated the standard to protect employees from occupational exposure to methylene chloride, which has a number of uses, such as metal degreasing and aircraft paint removal. It also is used to strip finishes from furniture prior to refinishing as well as in the manufacture of other chemicals.

OSHA’s Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis conducts retrospective reviews of final standards in accordance with the regulatory review provisions of Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review. These retrospective reviews are more commonly referred to as “lookback,” or Section 610 reviews.

OSHA will accept comments until Oct. 9. Comments should be sent to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2007-0024, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N2625, Washington, DC 20210. Comments also will be accepted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments may be sent by fax to (202) 693-1648.

Further information may be obtained from Joanna Dizikes Friedrich, Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, OSHA, Room N3641, 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-1939.

TAGS: Archive OSHA
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