Chemistry panel argues against lower formaldehyde levels

ACC disagrees with lower recommended TLVs

Posted March 22, 2017

The American Chemistry Council’s Formaldehyde Panel stood up for current OSHA worker protection standards for formaldehyde. In a statement issued on March 20, the panel disagreed with a vote by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) to adopt lower threshold limit values (TLVs®) for formaldehyde.

According to the panel, “ACGIH failed to consider the best available science and wasn’t transparent about its scientific evaluation process.” The panel said that recent literature from the European Union Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) supports Occupational Exposure Limits for formaldehyde of 0.3 ppm for an 8-hour time-weighted average and 0.6 ppm for Short Term Exposure Limits – both of which are above ACGIH’s recommended limits.

Further, the panel argues that OSHA’s current Formaldehyde Standard at 29 CFR 1910.1048 protects the health of millions of workers and provides “more than adequate workplace controls for the production, storage, handling, and use of this important chemical.”

Finally, the panel asserts that lowering the TLVs for formaldehyde would lead to “unnecessary and expensive installation of engineering controls without any worker health or safety benefits.”

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