NIOSH Proposes New Policy for Workplace Carcinogens
On November 15th 2013 the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) released the draft of their new, proposed carcinogen policy, to replace the original policy issued in 1978. This draft is available for public comment and all comments must be received in writing at the NIOSH docket office by February 13th 2014. We encourage all supporters to print, sign, and send the example comment below. As always, please feel free to create a comment in your own writing.
The new policy would change the way occupational carcinogens are classified to correspond with existing classifications used by other agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and National Toxicology Program, and others. If any of these agencies classifies a chemical as carcinogenic or potentials carcinogenic, NIOSH will determine the occupational relevance of this classification.
A second change in the proposed policy regards the Recommended Exposure Limits for workers (RELs) with the new limit set at 1 in 1,000 excess cancer cases in a working lifetime. However, as a target goal for workplace cancer risk, this level is too high. For example, the EPA sets a general population limit of 1 additional case per million exposed (and this goal is set to zero for drinking water limits). The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition expressed this concern in our public comment submitted to NIOSH. We also recommended that more attention be paid to potential breast carcinogens.
Download (& Print) the Sample Comment or write your own message and mail it to the following address before February 13th 2014:
NIOSH Docket Office
Robert A. Taft Laboratories,
MS–C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway,
Cincinnati, OH, 45226