And occupational limits presume that the employed population is healthier, on average, than the population as a whole. The validity of that presumption has been diluted somewhat over the years with ADA and similar changes in how society in general approaches employment, and working from home, but I think it still has some validity.
Beyond that, in an occupational setting we have at least the theoretical ability to measure and control the exposure of employed individuals to specified agents of concern during the work day. When looking at the environmental exposure of an entire population that ability is completely absent, so more stringent safety factors (fudge factors at the end of the risk assessment) are in order.
Peter Zavon, CIH
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Tom Slavin
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 9:23 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] NY Times Op-Ed: America's Toxic Workplace Rules
One important factor not mentioned is that occupational exposure limits assume that exposures (typically 8 hours) are interrupted by recovery times, whereas environmental limits assume 24 hour exposures.
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 8:02 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] NY Times Op-Ed: America's Toxic Workplace Rules
Here's an op-ed that addresses a specific point about government policy and practice that may be useful when training students on chemical safety issues, particularly interpretation of various Occupational Exposure Limits.
There's partisan commentary, as might be expected on the NY Times editorial page, but the key point about OSHA PELs vs. EPA's approach chemical exposure is an important teaching point.
Why do federal regulators allow employers to expose workers to levels of toxic chemicals far higher than those considered safe for everyone?
This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety.
For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post