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: Varies

The former OSHA Z tables had no substance-specific limit for vegetable oil mist. The ACGIH has established a 10-mg/m3 8-hour TWA for all nuisance particulates. The proposed PEL was 10 mg/m3 (total particulate) as an 8-hour TWA and 5 mg/m3 (respirable fraction) as an 8-hour TWA. NIOSH (Ex. 8-47, Table N4) concurs with the proposed limits. In the final rule, OSHA is establishing a 15-mg/m3 total particulate limit for vegetable oil, which is a pale yellow, oily liquid.

One commenter (Ex. 3-1080) stated that OSHA had not, in the proposal, demonstrated that vegetable oil mist presents a health and safety hazard. OSHA finds that oil mist presents the same safety and health hazards as do all of the physical irritants. Occupational exposure to vegetable oil mist is associated with a variety of health and safety hazards, including interference with vision; eye tearing, and skin and other forms of physical irritation.

OSHA is establishing 8-hour TWA limits of 15 mg/m3 (total particulate) and 5 mg/m3 (respirable particulate) for vegetable oil mist (except castor oil, cashew nut, or similar irritant oils). The Agency concludes that these limits protect exposed workers against the significant risks of physical irritation described above.

Page last reviewed: September 28, 2011