According to the press release:
OSHA is proposing to lower its permissible exposure limit (PEL) for hexavalent chromium and for all CrVI compounds in construction, shipyards, and general industry from 52 to one microgram of CrVI per cubic meter of air as an 8-hour time weighted average. The proposed rule also includes provisions for employee protection such as preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, protective work clothing and equipment, hygiene areas and practices, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping.Written comments are due January 3 and hearings will start on February 3.
Hexavalent chromium (CrVI) compounds are widely used in the chemical industry in pigments, metal plating, and chemical synthesis as ingredients and catalysts. CrVI can also be produced when welding on stainless steel or CrVI-painted surfaces. The major health effects associated with exposure to CrVI include lung cancer, asthma, nasal septum ulcerations and perforations, skin ulcerations (or chrome holes), and allergic and irritant contact dermatitis.
U.S. Appeals Court for the 3rd Circuit gives the agency until January 2006 to issue a final rule.
More on this next week when I get a chance to look at the proposal in the Federal Register.