OSHA Vinyl Chloride Standard

OSHA Vinyl Chloride Standard

Limits the amount of permissible exposure time over the course of a typical eight hour shift (dropping from 500 parts per million [ppm] to 1 ppm). OSHA anticipated that the standard could be met by proactively limiting leaks and unintentional emissions, mechanizing particularly dangerous aspects of the process, restructuring facility designs, and generally improving ventilation systems (new technologies also allowed businesses to end the manual cleaning of reactors, a practice which was exactly as dangerous as it sounds). Regular medical surveillance and exposure monitoring are also required by the standard, along with hazard labeling where appropriate.

Cry Wolf Quotes

It is the firm opinion of technical experts in our engineering and production departments that we could not continue to operate our plants and contemporaneously meet the proposed OSHA standard of ‘no detectable level’ of vinyl chloride.

Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corporation representative, Raymond J. Abramowitz.

[Anything beneath the level of 50 parts per million parts per million (ppm) is] uneconomic and all but impossible to meet...[it would be] simply a requirement for liquidation of a major industry.

The Manufacturing Chemists’ Association (MCA).

[N]one [of our members] could operate if the NIOSH [vinyl chloride] Work Standard were imposed upon the industry.

The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI).

The [vinyl chloride standard would be the] tip of an enormous regulatory iceberg….If government allows workers to be exposed to the gas, some of them may die. If it eliminates all exposure a valuable industry may disappear.

Paul H. Weaver, Fortune Magazine.


Backgrounders & Briefs

Gauging Control Technology and Regulatory Impacts in Occupational Safety and Health

Information on multiple OSHA regulations and their costs. In almost every case, the regulations were far cheaper than the agency estimated.