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

[M]uch of the scientific data obtained by researchers to date is inconclusive….misplaced reliance on mere suspicions rather than proven data, or precipitous and emotional reaction to such incomplete information…could lead to major economic consequences.

Jerome Heckman, general counsel of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

[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).

Rulemaking should not be based on conditions that existed in the past, but should be based on conditions as they exist now...we believe a temporary emergency standard would result in polarization rather than constructive definition of areas of concern and constructive problem solving.

Dow Chemical’s representative at the initial fact-finding hearing.


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.