OSHA comments from the January 19, 1989 Final Rule on Air Contaminants Project extracted from 54FR2332 et. seq. This rule was remanded by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the limits are not currently in force.

CAS: 9005-25-8; Chemical Formula: (C6H10O5)n

The former OSHA limit for starch was 15 mg/m3 as an 8-hour TWA, the Agency’s generic limit for all particulates. The ACGIH has a TLV-TWA of 10 mg/m3 for starch as total dust that contains no asbestos and less than 1 percent crystalline silica. The proposed total particulate PEL was 10 mg/m3; however, in the final rule, OSHA is retaining a total particulate limit of 15 mg/m3 for starch. Starch is a white, odorless powder.

Exposure to high concentrations of starch dust may result in impaired vision, or may cause injury to the mucous membranes or skin. Injury may also result from the vigorous skin-cleansing procedures necessary for the complete removal of starch (ACGIH 1986/Ex. 1-3). NIOSH, the only commenter on starch, has not substantively reviewed its health effects (Ex. 8-47, Table N4).

OSHA is retaining both the 8-hour TWA total particulate PEL of 15 mg/m3 and the 5-mg/m3 respirable particulate limit for starch. The Agency concludes that these limits will control the significant risk of eye, skin, and other physical irritation that may result from exposure to high levels of starch in the workplace.

Page last reviewed: September 28, 2011