New Reference Exposure Levels for Carbonyl Sulfide

February 27, 2017

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has adopted new Reference Exposure Levels (RELs) for carbonyl sulfide (COS) for use in the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program. RELs are airborne concentrations of a chemical that are not anticipated to result in adverse non-cancer health effects for specified exposure durations in the general population, including sensitive subpopulations. The adopted RELs cover different types of exposure to COS in air: infrequent 1-hour exposures, repeated 8-hour exposures, and continuous long-term exposure.

OEHHA is required to develop guidelines for conducting health risk assessments under the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program (Health and Safety Code Section 44360(b)(2)). In response to this statutory requirement, OEHHA develops RELs for many air pollutants, including COS. The COS RELs were developed using the most recent “Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Technical Support Document for the Derivation of Noncancer Reference Exposure Levels” (OEHHA, 2008). These chemicals will also be added to the list of Toxic Air Contaminants that may disproportionately impact children, pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 39669.5(b)(1).

A draft document for the COS RELs was released on October 17, 2014, to solicit public comment and was discussed at public workshops in Sacramento and Diamond Bar, California, during the subsequent 60-day public review period. The documents were revised to reflect public comments, and peer-reviewed by the State’s Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants (SRP) in June 2015 before being finalized.

The REL values are as follows:

  • Acute REL (for a 1-hour exposure): 660 µg/m3 (270 ppb)
  • 8-Hour REL (for repeated 8-hour exposure): 10 ?g/m3 (4 ppb)
  • Chronic REL (for long-term exposure): 10 ?g/m3 (4 ppb)

Inquiries concerning technical matters or availability of the documents may be sent to:

Dr. John Budroe, Chief
Air Toxicology and Risk Assessment Section
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
1515 Clay Street, 16th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

DOE Presentation Slides on Control of Hazardous Energy Available Online

Presentation materials from the February 2017 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Health and Safety WebEx have been posted to the Industrial Hygiene/Occupational Safety (IH/OS) Special Interest Group (SIG) website. The presentation slides look at the Control of Hazardous Energy.

OSHA, Allied Construction Industries Renew Partnership to Train, Protect Ohio Construction Workers

OSHA and Allied Construction Industries, ACI, renewed their partnership to protect construction industry workers through increased training, daily work shift safety meetings, safety orientations, and stand-downs designed to increase worker's knowledge of hazards, required safety procedures, protective measures, and equipment. The association represents workers in the construction, concrete, masonry, sheet metal, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and finishing trades. The partnership was first signed in 2000.

The partnership continues to emphasize reducing injury and illness on the job site by focusing training on the top four construction industry hazards—falls, struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocutions—as well as interactive training developed from on-site information and experiences.

It also requires all employers, contractors, and subcontractors to implement written safety and health programs; conduct daily pre-task planning, safety huddles and job site inspections, and involve workers in safety meetings. OSHA will review these programs at least annually to track and compare information on injury and illness rates, share best practices and review goals.

"Workplace safety is achieved when everyone works together to recognize hazards and follow safety protocols and procedures," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA has found partnerships like this set the standard that safety will not be compromised."

Through its Strategic Partnership Program, OSHA works with employers, employees, professional and trade associations, labor organizations, and other stakeholders to establish specific goals, strategies and performance measures to improve worker safety and health.

Fairbanks Community Food Bank Renewed for Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Award

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Heidi Drygas approved the Fairbanks Community Food Bank for the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) renewal as a result of outstanding employee safety and health programs.

“The Fairbanks Community Food Bank is excited to be involved with the SHARP Program,” said Anne Weaver, Fairbanks Community Food Bank CEO. “Not only do we have staff, but we also have 1800 volunteers and thousands of donors come through this building every year. By having a clear set of goals and objectives through the SHARP Program, our staff is able to be constantly vigilant and focused on keeping our workers safe. We don’t want to be moderately safe; we want everyone to go home in better shape than when we arrive. The SHARP program helps us achieve our goal.”

SHARP is a federal recognition program, administered by the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Section (AKOSH) in the department’s Labor Standards and Safety Division. Participating employers are excused from programmed AKOSH enforcement inspections during the recognition period. However, employee complaints, accident investigations or other significant incidents will result in enforcement action.

Companies that partner with AKOSH and achieve SHARP status are likely to experience fewer workplace accidents and reduced workers’ compensation insurance costs. For more information on SHARP or to see a list of current participants, visit Labor.Alaska.Gov/lss/OSH-SHARP.htm, or contact SHARP Program Coordinator Seth Wilson at (907) 451-2888 or Seth.Wilson@Alaska.Gov.

Safety News Links

What’s the Healthiest Way to Eat Your Veggies?

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Lack of Sleep Costing U.S. Economy Up to $411 Billion a Year

A Grim Pattern: Presidential Voting and Workplace Deaths

U.S. Life Expectancy May Rise to over 80 by 2030

Repeat Head Hits May Not Put NFL Players at Risk of Motor Problems

Ready for Spring Break? Have Fun but Play it Safe

Airport Employee Apparently Demoted in Retaliation

Hazardous Materials and Household Chemical Safety

OSHA Working with Kansas Firm; 3 Hospitalized Following Accident

Two Union Pacific Employees Win OSHA Claim Against Railroad

Worker Killed in Minnetonka Construction Accident

Construction Worker Killed at Highway Construction Site

City Worker Injured by Garbage Truck

Crane Truck Tips over on Pineda Causeway Overpass, Worker Injured

Worker Killed in Construction Accident

Pierce Transit Worker Killed at Lakewood Bus Base

Construction Worker Killed in Fall from House Under Construction

Worker Injured After Falling 8 Feet

Gas Release Hospitalizes 6 at Semiconductor Plant