OSHA Sampling Results of Toxin Exposure at Sandy Cleanup Released

According to OSHA research, while toxins are present at sites for Hurricane Sandy recovery, they are not higher than the exposure levels that OSHA deems permissible.

OSHA has released the initial results of the impact that Hurricane Sandy had on industrial hygiene in New York and New Jersey. These industrial hygiene samples measured reveal the possible or actual health hazard exposure that employees may face during Sandy cleanup.

The results of the sampling show that while some harmful contaminants – like asbestos, carbon monoxide, and silica – are present in cleanup areas, the levels do not exceed the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits.

“These initial results should not be taken by employers as an ‘all clear’ signal regarding potential exposure to health hazards,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York, in an agency press release. “It is important that each employer continually ensure that workers are not overexposed. Employers can accomplish this by performing site assessments to determine potential hazards and institute effective measures to protect workers against exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos, lead and mold.”

This is only the first round of sampling and OSHA will continue to monitor toxin levels.

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