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NIOSH Recommendations for Occupational Safety and Health Standards 1988


Acting under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-596), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) develops and periodically revises recommendations for limits of exposure to potentially hazardous substances or conditions in the workplace. NIOSH also recommends preventive measures designed to reduce or eliminate the adverse health effects of these hazards. In formulating these recommendations, NIOSH evaluates all known and available scientific information relevant to the potential hazard. The recommendations are then published and transmitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor for use in promulgating legal standards.

NIOSH recommendations are published in a variety of documents. Criteria documents specify a NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) and appropriate preventive measures designed to reduce or eliminate adverse health effects.

Special hazard reviews, occupational hazard assessments, alerts, and technical guidelines are other types of NIOSH documents that complement the Institute's recommendations for standards. These documents provide safety and health assessments of specific problems associated with a given agent or hazard, and they recommend appropriate control and monitoring methods. Although these documents do not supplant the more comprehensive criteria documents, they are prepared to assist OSHA or MSHA in the formulation of regulations.

NIOSH periodically presents testimony before various Congressional committees and at regulatory hearings convened by OSHA or MSHA. The testimony always includes the current NIOSH policy concerning the hazard in question.

NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletins (CIBs) review and evaluate new and emerging information on occupational hazards. These bulletins may draw attention to a formerly unrecognized hazard, report new data on a known hazard, or disseminate information on hazard control.

The recommendations listed in this summary are based on existing NIOSH policy as previously published in any of the forms listed above. The intent of this table is to provide a rapid reference to the most recent NIOSH REL or other recommendation for each potential hazard. The current OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) or standard is also presented. Unless otherwise noted in the table, the NIOSH recommendations were originally published in criteria documents. Note to Readers:

Copies of NIOSH publications are generally available from the U.S. Government Printing Office and the National Technical Information Service. Single copies of these publications may be obtained (while the supply lasts) from

Publications Dissemination Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 4676 Columbia Parkway Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 (513) 533-8287 Please enclose a self-addressed mailing label with your request.

Definitions of Abbreviations and Terms

Action level the exposure concentration at

which employers must initiate certain provisions of the NIOSH recommended standard such as periodic measurements of worker exposure, training of workers, and medical monitoring Ca agent recommended by NIOSH to be treated as a potential

human carcinogen CD criteria document CFR Code of Federal Regulations CIB Current Intelligence Bulletin CNS central nervous system dBA decibels measured on the A scale, which approximates the

response of the human ear ECG electrocardiogram J/cm((2)) joules per square centimeter um micrometer ug/m((3)) micrograms per cubic meter mg/m((3)) milligrams per cubic meter mppcf millions of particles per cubic foot MSHA Mine Safety and Health Administration mW/cm((2)) milliwatts per square centimeter NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health nm nanometer OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration PCBs polychlorinated biphenyls PCDDs polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins PCDFs polychlorinated dibenzofurans PEL permissible exposure limit (OSHA) ppb parts per billion ppm parts per million REL recommended exposure limit (NIOSH) (Skin) potential contribution to overall exposure by the

cutaneous route, including mucous membranes and eyes TCDD 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin TWA time-weighted average WL working level WLM working level month

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