Sampling and analysis issues relating to the ACGIH notice of intended change for the beryllium threshold limit value.
J Occup Environ Hyg 2005 Dec 2(12):D97-D99
Beryllium in various forms is widely used throughout the world in ceramics, aerospace and military applications, electronics, and sports equipment. Workplace exposure to beryllium is a growing industrial hygiene concern due to the potential for development of chronic beryllium disease (CBD), a lung condition with no known cure, in a small percentage of those exposed. There are workplace exposure limits for beryllium that have been in place for several decades. However, recent studies suggest that the current American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) may not be sufficiently protective for workers who are potentially exposed to airborne beryllium. Early in 2005, ACGIH issued a Notice of Intended Change (NIC) to the current TL V for beryllium which entails a 100-fold reduction (from 2 to 0.02 micrograms per cubic meter of sampled air). It is noted that ACGIH TLVs do not carry legal force in the manner that OSHA PELs or other federal regulations do. Nevertheless, OSHA plans a beryllium rulemaking in the near future, and a reduction in the PEL is anticipated. Also, if this change in the TL V for beryllium is adopted, it is reasonable to assume that at least some sampling and analysis activities will need to be modified to address airborne beryllium at the lower levels. Some implications to both the industrial hygiene and the laboratory communities are discussed in this paper.
Beryllium-compounds; Exposure-limits; Industrial-hygienists; Sampling-methods; Analytical-methods; Laboratory-techniques; Laboratory-testing; Industrial-hygiene; Industrial-hygiene-programs; Regulations
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Applied Research and Technology, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene