AIHA Comments on OSHA's Proposed Silica Rule, NIOSH Carcinogen Policy

Posted February 13, 2014

AIHA® recently added two new documents to its Public Policy Comments Web page, one on OSHA’s proposed silica rule and one related to NIOSH’s revised carcinogen policy.

OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule

Last week, AIHA submitted comments on OSHA’s proposed rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica, supporting the agency’s efforts to move forward with its proposal. AIHA’s comments state that in order to properly protect workers, the proposed PEL for silica should be based on scientific evidence and health effects as established by NIOSH and ACGIH documents, which conclude that the current PEL is inadequate.

AIHA’s comments also include answers to specific questions posed by OSHA during the public comment period.

NIOSH’s Revised Carcinogen Policy

On Monday, AIHA also submitted comments to NIOSH on its draft document, Current Intelligence Bulletin: Update of NIOSH Carcinogen Classification and Target Risk Level Policy for Chemical Hazards in the Workplace. AIHA supports the agency’s new proposed classification policy, which uses the assessment scheme currently used by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). AIHA believes this approach will align classifications which existed under various umbrellas—including NTP, EPA, IARC, and the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)—and keep NIOSH from the additional cost of time and resources to find an alternate acceptable approach.

AIHA’s comments to NIOSH also support the use of risk-based exposure limits for carcinogens and NIOSH’s decision to make its recommended exposure limits (RELs) risk-based.

To download and read AIHA’s full comments, visit AIHA’s Public Policy Comments Web page.