Two Chemicals Listed and One Chemical Proposed to Be Listed as Carcinogens

November 26, 2018
Effective November 23, 2018, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added gentian violet and N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
At a public meeting on November 1, 2018, the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) in its official capacity as the “state’s qualified experts” (SQE) determined that gentian violet and N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine were clearly shown by scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer. Regulations for the listing of chemicals by the CIC are set out in Title 27, California Code of Regulations, section 25305(a)(1).
OEHHA also indicated that the agency intends to list p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (also known as para-chlorobenzotrifluoride, or PCBTF) as known to the state to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
PCBTD is used as a solvent in paints, inks and coatings and as an industrial intermediate in the production of other chemicals (e.g. herbicides, dyes, pharmaceuticals).
OEHHA has requested comments as to whether p‑chloro‑α,α,α-trifluorotoluenemeets the criteria set forth in the Proposition 65 regulations for authoritative bodies listings. In order to be considered, OEHHA must receive comments by 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments may be submitted electronically through the OHHHA website at
Comments submitted in paper form can be mailed to the address below:
Julian Leichty
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
P.O. Box 4010, MS-12B
Sacramento, California 95812-4010
A complete, updated chemical list is available on the OEHHA website at  
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Construction Company Cited for Fatal Trench Accident
Cal/OSHA has cited general contractor Bay Construction Co. for dismantling a trench box while an employee was still working inside. Investigators found the employer committed willful-serious safety violations by unsafely removing a linear support rail that fell and fatally crushed the worker.
“Shield systems are designed to protect employees from cave-ins when working in an excavation,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Employers must ensure that no one is inside of the excavation when the protective system is being installed or removed.”
Bay Construction Co. of Oakland assembled a trench box on April 23 to install underground pump station equipment at the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. Four days later, the crew was finishing up the underground work when a worker was compacting dirt inside the trench box and another was using an excavator with a four-hook bridle sling to remove the shoring system’s 5,000-pound linear rails. The hooks used for the sling were not adequate for this operation and one failed, dropping a rail and fatally crushing the worker inside the trench.
Cal/OSHA issued nine citations to Bay Construction Co. with $141,075 in proposed penalties, including five classified as general, two serious, one serious accident-related and one willful-serious accident-related. The willful-serious accident-related citation was issued for failing to ensure that no employees were in the trench shield while it was being dismantled. The serious accident-related citation was issued for the employer’s failure to use adequate hooks to remove the heavy linear rails. The citations for serious violations were issued for failing to conduct daily inspections of the excavation site to identify any potential hazards and failure to implement multiple sections of the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program, which includes training and instruction to employees working in excavations.
A citation is classified as serious when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazard created by the violation. A willful violation is cited when the employer is aware of the law and violates it nevertheless, or when the employer is aware of the hazardous condition and takes no reasonable steps to address it.
Cal/OSHA offers extensive information and resources on working safely in the construction industry, including how to safely perform trench and excavation operations. Before starting excavation work, the approximate locations of all underground installations that may be encountered during excavation operations must be determined and the proper notification must be made to the appropriate agency in either Northern or Southern California. A permit from the local Cal/OSHA district office must be obtained before the construction of excavations five feet or deeper into which any person is required to descend.
Alabama Food Processor Fined After Amputation and Other Hazards
OSHA has cited Southern Classic Food Group LLC for amputation and other hazards after two employees were hospitalized in separate incidents. The Brundidge, Alabama, food processor faces $164,997 in penalties.
On August 2, 2018, an employee suffered burns while using hot water under pressure. Six days later, another employee suffered an amputation to the tip of the finger. OSHA cited the company for exposing employees to amputation hazards; failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy and train employees on these procedures; failing to ensure employees isolated energy sources before conducting line-breaking work; not providing personal protective equipment; and failing to implement a bloodborne pathogen program.
Mister Cookie Face Fined After Employee Amputation
OSHA has cited Mister Cookie Face LLC for machine safety hazards after an employee suffered an amputation at the Lakewood, New Jersey, facility. The company faces $103,476 in penalties.
A sanitation employee suffered a fingertip amputation and a fractured finger when the machine the worker attempted to unjam, activated equipment. OSHA cited the company for failing to lockout machines to prevent unintentional startup during servicing, not ensuring employees used personal protective equipment, not providing an eyewash station where employees used corrosive chemicals, and for exposing employees to bloodborne pathogens hazards.
"This injury could have been avoided with worker training and the use of lockout/tagout procedures," said OSHA Marlton Area Office Director Paula Dixon-Roderick. "Employers who implement an effective safety and health program can ensure that workplace hazards are identified and corrected to prevent worker injuries or fatalities."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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