NIOSH Reveals Current Projects on Chemical Risk Assessments and Management

Source: mediagram - 123RF

Minneapolis, MN – Addressing attendees at the 2019 Conference of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIH), Paul A. Schulte, Ph.D., who heads the NIOSH division working on chemical risk assessment and management, detailed several new documents and soon-to-be-released tools in areas of concern.

These included:

  • Recommended Exposure Limits (REL);
  • IDLH values;
  • Nanotechnology; and
  • Occupational exposure banding.

According to OSHA, skin exposure to chemicals in the workplace is a significant problem in the U.S. Both the number of cases and the rate of skin disease in the U.S. exceeds recordable respiratory illnesses.

In 2010, 34,400 recordable skin diseases were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at a rate of 3.4 injuries per 10,000 employees, compared to 19,300 respiratory illnesses with a rate of 1.9 illnesses per 10,000 employees.

OH&S reports that Dr Schulte discussed work on the well-known NIOSH Pocket Guide, including that it became available as an app late last week.

He also spoke about ongoing work on RELs for seven substances, including manganese, lead, glutaraldehyde, toluene diisocyanate, and silver nanoparticles.

“NIOSH Practices in Occupational Risk Assessment” will be released as a digital download in the next few months.

Dermal exposures are addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry, Shipyard Employment, Marine Terminals, Construction, and Identification, Classification, and Regulation of Carcinogens.