This report described the responsibilities of developing occupational exposure limits in the United States. The processes discussed were used by NIOSH and the Department of Labor. NIOSH had the responsibility of making formal recommendations in various forms including Criteria Documents, Current Intelligence Bulletins, Alerts, testimony and various miscellaneous documents including Pocket Guides to Chemical Hazards, Occupational Guidelines, Hazard Reviews, and Advisories. Various factors which went into developing criteria documents were discussed, included contributions from the public. Nominations for studies were reviewed based on the frequency of use, extent of exposure and background exposure, number of workers exposed, severity and type of adverse health effects, technical feasibility of controls, and availability of sampling and analytical methods. Criteria Documents, when published, contain recommendations, effects of exposure, bases for recommended standard, hazard identification, methods of protection workers, and research needs. Currently NIOSH is attempting to develop more efficient processes to address the majority of unregulated hazards in an expedited manner.
Richard Niemeier, CDC, NIOSH, EID, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226