ACGIH Board Ratifies 2011 TLVs and BEIs

Sometimes controversial, these exposure guidelines for industrial hygienists are accompanied by recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes.

Directors of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists have ratified the 2011 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs), the organization announced Jan. 31. Sometimes controversial, these exposure guidelines for industrial hygienists are accompanied by recommendations for additions to a Notice of Intended Changes -- substances and physical agents for which a limit or BEI is being proposed for the first time, for which a change in an adopted value is proposed, for which retention on the NIC is proposed, or for which the withdrawal of documentation and an adopted TLV/BEI is proposed.

These are important health-based values widely used for by IHs to ensure workers' protection on the job. Some trade groups filed lawsuits challenging them in the past, which stretched ACGIH financially. The opponents said the TLVs are essentially standards but are not adopted based on stakeholder consensus. ACGIH itself says they are not standards and notes they are developed with no consideration given to economic or technical feasibility.

The 2011 TLVs and BEIs book and 2011 Guide to Occupational Exposure Values will be available soon, according to ACGIH, which said these can be ordered online by calling 513-742-2020 or visiting www.acgih.org/store.

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