After years of trying to craft an exposure standard for hexavelant chromium that would stand up under expected court challenges, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final standard on February 28, 2006 which became effective on May 29, 2006.
Under the standard, the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for exposure to hexavalent chromium will be lowered from 52 to 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air, as an 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA). Also included in the standard are specifications for controlling exposures, respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment, medical surveillance, hazard communication and recordkeeping. You can get the details from OSHA’s website @ www.osha.gov. It’s found in the “In Focus” section. The specific regulation is 29CFR1910.1026, which can also be found under “Standards” then “General Industry”
Hexavalent chromium compounds are widely used in pigments, metal plating and chemical synthesis. Potential adverse human health effects include lung cancer, nasal septum perforation, skin ulceration, allergic sensitization and contact dermatitis.
You may recall that the movie Erin Brockovich was about exposure to hexavalent chromium.
Atlantic Environmental Incorporated is fully qualified and able to conduct air sampling to evaluate employee exposure to hexavalent chromium. For assistance in preparing to meet the requirements of the new OSHA standard, call Atlantic Environmental, Inc. at 800-344-4414 to discuss your needs.