Exposure Limits

Table 5.29.1 lists some commonly occurring toxic components. The OSHA limits for many industrial chemicals are in 29 CFR 1910.1000 (OSHA 1989).

The NIOSH uses the following terms to describe exposure limits:

ACTION LEVEL—The exposure concentration at which certain provisions of the NIOSH-recommended standard must be initiated, such as periodic measurements of worker exposure, training of workers, and medical surveillance.

CA—A substance that NIOSH recommends be treated as a potential human carcinogen.

CEILING—A description usually used with a published exposure limit that refers to a concentration that should not be exceeded, even for an instant. IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS TO LIFE OR HEALTH (IDLH)—A level defined for respiratory protection that represents the maximum concentration from which, in the event of respiratory failure, a person can escape within 30 min without experiencing any impairing or irreversible health effects.

PEL—An exposure limit published and enforced by OSHA

as a legal standard. RECOMMENDED EXPOSURE LIMIT (REL)—The exposure recommended by NIOSH not to be exceeded. STEL—The maximum concentration to which workers can be exposed for 15 min four times throughout the day with at least 1 hr between exposures. TWA—The average time, over a work period, of a person's exposure to a chemical or agent determined by sampling for the contaminant throughout the time period.

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