OSHA has released a final rule reducing occupational contact limits for beryllium. The specifications affect general industry, construction as well as shipyards.
Beryllium, a light-weight metal, is utilized in different industries, such as electronics and also energy. It is seriously toxic when released into the air in which workers might inhale it, which enable it to lead to lung damage, having a condition known as chronic beryllium disease. Even low-level exposures may cause significant health issues, OSHA says.
Workers exposed to beryllium under OSHA’s prior permissible exposure limitations “face a significant risk of material impairment to their health,” in accordance with the guideline, that is planned to be released in the Jan. 9 Federal Register and will be effective 60 days after publication.
Under the final rule, the 8-hour PEL lowers to 0.2 micro grams of beryllium per cubic meter of air from the earlier limit of 2.0 micro grams. The rule additionally sets a temporary exposure limit of 2.0 micro grams of beryllium per cubic meter of air over a sampling time period of 15 mins.
The past PELs were “based on decades-old studies,” OSHA mentioned in a Jan. 6 announcement. Additionally, the rule sets specifications for use of personal protective equipment, medical exams, training as well as other protections.
Employers will have 12 months to comply with most of the requirements in the standard. The provisions for employers to give change rooms and also showers starts 2 years after the effective date, so the responsibility for applying engineering controls begins 3 years after the effective date.