Cinnaminson, NJ, May 25th, 2018
Enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule covering occupational exposure to beryllium began on May 11th of this year. It established new Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) and contains several other ancillary provisions that apply to general industry, construction and shipyards, codified in three separate standards.
Key provisions of the new rule:
- Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over 8-hours.
- Establishes a new short-term exposure limit for beryllium of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air, over a 15-minute sampling period.
- Requires employers to: use engineering and work practice controls (such as ventilation or enclosure) to limit worker exposure to beryllium; provide respirators when controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high-exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan; and train workers on beryllium hazards.
- Requires employers to make available medical exams to monitor exposed workers and provides medical removal protection benefits to workers identified with a beryllium-related disease.
Beryllium is a lightweight and strong metal used in the aerospace, electronics, energy, telecommunications, medical and defense industries. Beryllium and its compounds are important materials, but beryllium is also a highly toxic metal and workers who inhale it are at an increased risk of developing chronic beryllium disease (CBD) or lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists beryllium as a Group 1 carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) lists beryllium as a known human carcinogen.
“It is great news for American workers that enforcement of the new final rule is finally going to be in place since OSHA estimates that around 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium in the workplace,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Preventing new cases of CBD and lung cancer associated with inhaling beryllium-containing dusts, fumes or mists is a win for everyone.”
Dedicated to protecting workers and helping to keep companies in compliance with the new final rule are the scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc.’s industrial hygiene laboratory. With multiple locations across North America, EMSL offers industrial hygiene and environmental analysis of beryllium, along with all of the supplies necessary to collect and submit samples. They also sponsored an educational video about the new beryllium rule after it was first published last year that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/xeMbjO68jMI.
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 44 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.