PELs Forum Goes Live

OSHA may have hit on a sensible plan for updating its permissible exposure limits. Going live Monday with a new web forum, Administrator Dr. David Michaels asked stakeholders to "nominate" hazardous chemicals they want OSHA to focus on when it revises the approximately 400 PELs. Updating them en masse was attempted and struck down; the one-by-one approach, starting with chemicals of greatest concern, might succeed.

Some chemicals have powerful friends. Threshold Limit Values and PELs are seen as a threat by some manufacturers and trade associations, which means the single-chemical approach is still likely to offend someone and be challenged in court. But the safety community at least has an easy mechanism, and a very short window, to make its wishes known.

The site is It went live Monday and will accept nominations until Aug. 27. "Help us select the chemicals for which we have no standards and for which our standards are particularly inadequate," Michaels says in the explanatory video posted on the site.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Aug 16, 2010