Hexavalent chromium is used in inks,
dyes, pigments, coatings, ceramics and
other materials. Occupational exposure
to hexavalent chromium can lead to
lung cancer in workers who breathe the
substance as a dust, fume, or mist.
The booklet is a supplement to OSHA’s
Small Entity Compliance Guide for the
Hexavalent Chromium Standards. Both publications are available at www.osha.gov.
OSHA to Hold Summit for Latino Worker Health and
OSHA, NIOSH and other federal agencies are sponsoring a
National Action Summit for Latino
Worker Health and Safety, April 14–15,
2010, in Houston, Texas. According to
OSHA, the Summit will showcase effective partnerships between government, consulates, faith and community
groups/worker centers; successful on-the-job programs; and education programs and materials targeted to a low
literacy, Spanish-speaking worker population. The event will focus on construction and other industries with large numbers of Hispanic
workers. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
EPA Proposes Stricter Smog Standard
In January, EPA proposed to lower the primary (public health)
standard for smog to a level between 60 and 70 ppb measured
over eight hours. The current standard, set in March 2008, is
According to an EPA press release, the agency reviewed the
science informing the 2008 rulemaking and public comments
on the 75 ppb standard to determine the new level.
Smog is linked to a number of
serious health problems, ranging
from aggravation of asthma to
increased risk of premature death
in people with heart or lung disease. Ozone can even harm
healthy people who work and
play outdoors. The agency estimates that the proposed standard
would result in health benefits ranging from $13 billion to $100
billion due to reductions in premature deaths, cases of aggravated asthma and bronchitis, hospital and emergency room visits and days missed from work.
For more information on smog, visit www.epa.gov/
NEWSWATCH | DEPARTMENT
NIOSH Recommends Tools to Lessen MSDs among
Safety Considerations Ignored in Developing Countries
In January, speakers at a workshop on nanotechnology regulation in Delhi, India, warned that health and
safety are being ignored in developing
countries engaged in nanotechnology
research. According to an article on
SciDev.net, speakers mentioned China,
India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam as
countries that are exploring the commercial potential of nanotechnology without
implementing health and safety controls.
SciDev.net quoted a researcher from the
India Institute of Toxicology Research who described the state
of nanotechnology research in India as “a free-for-all.” The researcher explained that Indian companies are not required to
conduct any toxicology tests on products made from nanotechnology, including water filters and clothing.
To read the article on SciDev.net, visit www.scidev.net/en/
Study Finds New York Subway Workers Not Harmed by
A limited study of 39 New York City subway workers, published
in the January issue of Environmental
Research, found no links between occupational exposure to steel dust and oxidative stress or DNA damage that might
indicate a greater risk of disease.
Researchers Steven Chillrud and Paul
Brandt-Rauf of Columbia University
measured workers’ biological responses
to iron, cadmium and manganese, three