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Hexavalent Chromium: OSHA deadline for engineering controls approaching


Hexavalent Chromium is a known human carcinogen and has been linked to lung cancer, and other terminal illnesses. The  record also indicates that occupational  exposure to Cr(VI) may result in asthma,  and damage to the nasal epithelia and  skin. In  order to limit the risk for workers exposed to chromium in the USA, OSHA has reduced the permissible concentration of hexavalent chromium.

OSHA standard:
Although OSHA has been aware of the risks of hexavalent chromium for many years the final standard (OSHA 1910.134) was published on February 28, 2006, outlining the “permissible exposure limit” for hexavalent chromium (VI). The new exposure limit (PEL) is 5 micrograms per cubic meter (5 μg/m3) on an 8-hour time-weighted average. There are three sub-standards broken into various industrial groups in which OSHA will be regulating:
  • General Industry 29 CFR 1910.1026
  • Shipyards 29 CFR 1915.1026
  • Construction 29 CFR 1926.1126

The standard will be fully implemented by May 31, 2010. Those industries exposed to hexavalent chromium need to have engineering controls in place to reduce employee exposure, and comply with the new standard.

Related EVISA Resources

Link database: OSHA Regulation related to hexavalent chromium
Link database: Toxicity of chromium species
Link database: Industrial use of chromium

Related EVISA News

February, 15, 2010: Chromium speciation in solid matrices
April 12, 2007: OSHA Agrees to Monitor Worker Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium-Containing Cement
October 4, 2006: OSHA Issues Hexavalent Chromium Guidance for Small Businesses
February 28, 2006: OSHA Issues Final Standard on Hexavalent Chromium

last time modified: February 17, 2010


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