OSHA Data Detail Workplace Toxic Chemical Exposure

Fifteen years of data will help stakeholders do a better job of stopping hazardous exposures, the agency believes.

OSHA has released 15 years of data providing details of workers' on-the-job exposures to toxic chemicals.

The data are measurements taken by OSHA compliance officers during the course of inspections. They include exposures to asbestos, benzene, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, silica, and others. The data offer insights into the levels of toxic chemicals commonly found in workplaces, as well as insights into how exposures to specific chemicals are distributed across industries, geographical areas, and time.

"We believe this information, in the hands of informed, key stakeholders, will ultimately lead to a more robust and focused debate on what still needs to be done to protect workers in all sectors, especially in the chemical industry," said Dr. David Michaels, the OSHA assistant secretary.

With an understanding of these data and their limitations, it can be combined with other related data to target further research into occupational hazards and illness. In addition to the raw data, OSHA will soon make available an online search tool allowing public access to this information. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/opengov/healthsamples.html.

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