OEHS NEWS ; GOVERNMENT NEWS ; INDUSTRY NEWS
OSHA Issues Proposed Rule to Adopt GHS
In September, OSHA proposed a rule that would align its hazard
communication standard with the Globally Harmonized System
for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS will be
phased in over three years.
In a Sept. 29 teleconference with reporters, Acting Assistant
Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab indicated that there is no estimated date of release for the final rule and that other OSHA
standards would be revised as necessary to maintain consistency with GHS. The comment period for the proposed rule
ends Dec. 29, 2009.
The proposed rule was published in the Sept. 30 issue of the
Federal Register and can be viewed at www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/
NIOSH Publishes Indexed Bibliography
In September, NIOSH published the Indexed Dermal Bibliography (1995–1997), a resource on occupational dermal issues. The
document includes an overview of dermal exposures, hazard
identification, exposure characterization, health effects surveillance, risk assessment and risk control management. The bibliography is intended for audiences of varying technical abilities
and contains mostly review articles and an overview of educational information.
To access the Indexed Dermal Bibliography (1995–1997),
ISO Publishes Draft Standard on Social Responsibility
In September, the International Organization for Standardization Working Group on Social Responsibility (ISO SR) announced the publication of a draft international standard
Guidance on social responsibility (ISO 26000). The standard es-tablishes common guidance on social responsibility concepts,
definitions, and methods of evaluation. If voting on the draft
standard is positive, ISO 26000 will be on course for publication as an International Standard in late 2010, the ISO stated in
a press release.
According to the ISO, the document “provides guidance on
the underlying principles of social responsibility, the core sub-
jects and issues pertaining to social responsibility, and the ways
to integrate socially responsible behavior into existing organi-
zational strategies, systems, practices, and processes.”
More information about ISO 26000 is available at
Workshop: Standard Risk Assessment Methods
OK for Nanomaterials
Speakers at a September workshop on nanotechnology stated
that traditional methods can be used to identify the hazards and
risks of nanomaterials, according to the Sept. 24 issue of
Occupational Health and Safety Reporter. The workshop, organized
by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, was held Sept. 16–18.
Speakers also suggested that more data on the environmental, health and safety effects of certain nanomaterials is available than people realize. Occupational Health and Safety
Reporter stated that one speaker discussed decades of data for
nanoscale silver, which has been used as an antimicrobial.
EPA Research Focuses on Hazards, Benefits
EPA laboratories and grant recipients have initiated research on
the potential hazards and benefits of nanomaterials. According
to an agency press release, EPA is focusing on the possible
health effects of titanium dioxide, which is used in paints, cosmetics and sunscreens; carbon nanotubes, used in vehicles,
sports equipment and electronics; and other widely used nanomaterials. Researchers will also explore ways that nanotechnology might be used to help clean up toxic chemicals in the
For more information about the EPA’s Nanotechnology Research Program, visit www.epa.gov/nanoscience.
PPE Standards Updated
Updated OSHA standards for personal protective equipment
(PPE) went into effect on Oct. 9. The new standards revise requirements for eye, face, head and foot protection in general
industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals, according to an OSHA press release. Among the revisions
is a requirement that eye protection meet a test for transmission
of radiant energy.
The revisions are part of an OSHA effort to bring existing
regulations into compliance with current national consensus
The text of the final rule as published in the September 9
Federal Register is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/
2009/ E9-21360.htm. Technical inquiries should be directed to
Ted Twardowski, OSHA directorate of standards and guidance,
at (202) 693-2070.