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Margins of safety provided by COSHH essentials and the ILO Chemical Control Toolkit.

Authors
Jones-RM; Nicas-M
Source
Ann Occup Hyg 2006 Feb; 50(2):149-156
NIOSHTIC No.
20037261
Abstract
COSHH Essentials, developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive, and the Chemical Control Toolkit (Toolkit) proposed by the International Labor Organization, are 'control banding' approaches to workplace risk management intended for use by proprietors of small and medium-sized businesses. Both systems group chemical substances into hazard bands based on toxicological endpoint and potency. COSSH Essentials uses the European Union's Risk-phrases (R-phrases), whereas the Toolkit uses R-phrases and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Each hazard band is associated with a range of airborne concentrations, termed exposure bands, which are to be attained by the implementation of recommended control technologies. Here we analyze the margin of safety afforded by the systems and, for each hazard band, define the minimal margin as the ratio of the minimum airborne concentration that produced the toxicological endpoint of interest in experimental animals to the maximum concentration in workplace air permitted by the exposure band. We found that the minimal margins were always <100, with some ranging to <1, and inversely related to molecular weight. The Toolkit-GHS system generally produced margins equal to or larger than COSHH Essentials, suggesting that the Toolkit-GHS system is more protective of worker health. Although, these systems predict exposures comparable with current occupational exposure limits, we argue that the minimal margins are better indicators of health protection. Further, given the small margins observed, we feel it is important that revisions of these systems provide the exposure bands to users, so as to permit evaluation of control technology capture efficiency.
Keywords
Aerosol-particles; Aerosols; Airborne-particles; Air-contamination; Biological-effects; Biological-function; Chemical-deposition; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Chemical-properties; Control-technology; Engineering; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Fumes; Health-hazards; Health-standards; Inhalants; Inhalation-studies; Injury-prevention; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-safety-programs; Occupations; Physiological-effects; Physiological-measurements; Physiological-response; Qualitative-analysis; Quality-standards; Quantitative-analysis; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Statistical-analysis; Toxic-vapors; Vapors; Work-areas; Work-environment; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Chemical Control Toolkit; control banding; COSHH Essentials; safety margins
Contact
Rachael M. Jones, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
CODEN
AOHYA3
Publication Date
20060201
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
rmjones@berkeley.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2006
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008429
Issue of Publication
2
ISSN
0003-4878
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
State
CA
Performing Organization
University of California, Berkeley
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