Metalworking fluids can cause respiratory problems including occupational asthma from aerosol exposure and dermatitis from skin absorption.

Dermatitis Reference Being Added to Metalworking Standard

A revision of ASTM E2148-06, Standard Guide for Using Documents Related to Metalworking or Metal Removal Fluid Health and Safety, will add a reference to the new E2693-09, Standard Practice for Prevention of Dermatitis in the Wet Metal Removal Fluid Environment.

ASTM announced that Subcommittee E34.50 is currently revising the ASTM E2148-06 standard, Standard Guide for Using Documents Related to Metalworking or Metal Removal Fluid Health and Safety, to add a reference in it to the new E2693-09, Standard Practice for Prevention of Dermatitis in the Wet Metal Removal Fluid Environment. E2148-06 does not include such a reference because the E 2693-09 standard was developed after the E 2148 standard was approved.

Metalworking fluids -- oil- or water-based fluids used in machining and grinding operations to reduce heat and friction -- can cause respiratory problems including occupational asthma from aerosol exposure and dermatitis from skin absorption. NIOSH's Safety and Health Topic page about them says some 1.2 million workers involved in machine finishing, machine tooling, and other metalworking and metal-forming activities are potentially exposed.

The E2693-09 standard aims to help employers and employees reduce occupational dermatitis that can be caused by exposure to these fluids. It lists elements of an effective program, including understanding dermatitis and its causes; preventing dermal exposure to metal removal fluids; appropriate product selection; good management of additives, microorganisms, and fluids; selection and control of additives (including antimicrobial pesticides); appropriate tool design; and assessment and control of fluid exposures, including aerosols.

For information about the revision and other standards developed by ASTM Committee E34 on Occupational Health and Safety, visit this site or call Kevin Shanahan at 610-832-9737.

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