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Proposed regulation for occupational exposure to select glycol ethers in the United States.
Occup Hyg 1996 Jan; 2(1-6):445-449
The proposed regulation for glycol ethers as presented by OSHA included various industrial hygiene provisions designed to provide a comprehensive program for protecting workers who may be exposed to the solvents. Limits were set for both airborne and dermal exposures and requirements were included that employers periodically monitor exposures through personal air sampling. The main focus of the proposed standard was the Permissible Exposure Limits of which there were three basic types: 8 hour time weighted averages, 15 minute excursion limits, and dermal exposure limitations. The proposals included reducing the current 8 hour time weighted average limits for 2-methoxyethanol (109864) (2ME) and 2-methoxyethanol- acetate (110496) (2-MEA) to 0.1 parts per million (ppm). The proposal also suggested a reduction for the exposure to 2- ethoxyethanol (110805) (2-EE) and 2-ethoxyethanol-acetate (111159) (2-EA) to 0.5ppm. OSHA applied uncertainty factors of 100 to bridge from the animal studies to human guidelines, which was one of the issues called into question. A second issue concerned the use of alternative risk assessment approaches such as the benchmark dose approach. Some hearing participants questioned also the need for an excursion limit. Others were concerned with how OSHA could best enforce the dermal exposure requirements. Questions were also raised about the reliability and predictability of biological monitoring techniques for the glycol ethers and the feasibility of implementing routine biological monitoring in the workplace.
NIOSH-Author; Regulations; Occupational-exposure; Developmental-disorders; Biological-monitoring; Skin-exposure; Laboratory-animals; Organic-solvents; Industrial-hygiene
109-86-4; 110-49-6; 110-80-5; 111-15-9
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division