Canada Updating OELs for 21 Hazardous Substances, Accepting Comments

The Ontario government is proposing new or updated occupational exposure limits (OELs) for 21 hazardous workplace substances, Labour Minister Steve Peters announced today.

"Our government continues to act to make Ontario workplaces healthier and safer," Peters said. "Exposure to hazardous substances can cause occupational illness, which impacts workers and their families as well as businesses. That is why we are holding consultations on updating Ontario's exposure limits based on the most current information available."

OELs restrict a worker's exposure to hazardous substances on the job. Ontario currently has OELs for more than 700 substances. Since the government initiated an annual review process in 2004, 131 OELs have been revised, updated, or added.

The Ministry of Labour is undertaking a 60-day consultation to allow stakeholders to comment on proposed new and revised limits and listings for the 21 hazardous substances. This includes proposed limits for six substances (Alachlor; dimethyl disulfide; Hexafluoropropylene; 1-Methyl naphthalene; 2-Methyl naphthalene;, and 5-Nitro-o-toluidine) for which a limit does not currently exist in Ontario. Revised limits and/or listings are proposed for 13 other substances. It is proposed that two substances, calcium carbonate and limestone, now covered by specific OELs, be withdrawn. They would continue to be regulated by the OELs for 'Particles not Otherwise Specified.'

For more information on these proposals, go to the Ministry of Labour Web site at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/oels/07_notice.html.The submission deadline is September 28, 2007.

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