NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
9277278 - Revised REL for GlutaraldehydeStart Date: 10/1/1999
End Date: 9/30/2011
Principal Investigator (PI)Name: Kathleen Macmahon
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed5.0
Secondary Goal AddressedNone
Attributed to Manufacturing50%
The purpose of this project is to develop a policy document to update the existing REL for glutaraldehyde [NIOSH,1988]. Contact dermatitis and asthma have been noted in workers with exposure below the existing NIOSH REL (0.2 ppm, ceiling). In accordance with NIOSH's mission to assure a safe and healthful workplace, a policy document will be developed to provide a summary of the relevant health effects data, a revised REL and guidelines to reduce the risk of adverse health effects in workers across two NORA sectors (manufacturing and health care). This revised REL will commit the latest research to the practice of protecting working men and women from the health effects of occupational glutaraldehyde exposure.
The purpose of this project is to develop a policy document to update the existing Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for glutaraldehyde [NIOSH 1988]. This update will use as primary resources, the 1997 criteria document of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the United Kingdom on glutaraldehyde, and the recently released document entitled, Health-based Recommended Occupational Exposure Limit: Glutaraldehyde published jointly by the Nordic Expert Group (NEG) and the Dutch Expert Committee for Occupational Standards (DECOS). The NIOSH document, under development, will provide a concise summary of the relevant health effects data, a revised REL, sampling and analytical methods, workplace exposure data, and engineering controls and work practices. It is intended for safety and health professionals in health care settings (i.e., dental, hospital, mortuary, etc.), academia, labor, industry, public interest groups, and other government agencies. Partnerships will be developed with these groups to ensure their understanding of the updated REL and the completeness of the data used as the basis for its revision. This project focuses on two NORA sectors (manufacturing, and health care and social assistance) and translates research into practice for safety and health professionals, employers, and workers.
Concern exists that the current recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.2 parts per million (ceiling) does not provide sufficient protection against glutaraldehyde hazards as significant health effects such as contact dermatitis and asthma have been noted in workers with exposure below the REL. The objective of this project is to develop a concise policy document to reduce or eliminate adverse health effects in these workers during glutaraldehyde manufacturing and use.
The National Occupational Exposure Survey reported more than 367,000 workers with possible glutaraldehyde exposure through its manufacture and its use in various health care industries. Scientific literature reports that glutaraldehyde causes sensory irritation (eyes, nose, respiratory tract), and possibly contact dermatitis, skin sensitization, and asthma. The current REL (0.2 ppm, ceiling) may not protect sufficiently against glutaraldehyde hazards as contact dermatitis and asthma have been noted in workers exposed below the REL. This policy document will provide an updated summary of the relevant health effects data, a revised REL and guidelines to reduce the risk of adverse health effects in the exposed workers during glutaraldehyde manufacture and use. The revised REL will be transmitted to OSHA, MSHA, and other regulatory agencies for use in future rulemaking. In accordance with NIOSH's mission to assure a safe and healthful workplace, this cross-cutting research to practice project will assist in protecting working men and women from the health effects of occupational glutaraldehyde exposure in the NORA sectors of manufacturing.