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ACGIH® voluntary exposure limits updated; ergonomics to come "under study" (2/2)

ACGIH® announced January 30, 2009 that its board of directors ratified the 2009 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®). The board also approved recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes (NIC).

The “2009 TLVs® & BEIs® book” and the “2009 Guide to Occupational Exposure Values” will be available soon. Those interested in ordering the books can do so online at, by phone at 513-742-2020, or by fax at 513-742-3355. Visit the ACGIH® website at for updates on availability.

TLVs® and BEIs® are guidelines to be used by professionals trained in the practice of industrial hygiene. The TLVs® and BEIs® are not designed to be used as standards, according to ACGIH®. The TLVs® and BEIs® are health-based values established by committees that review existing published and peer-reviewed literature in various scientific disciplines. Based on the available information, ACGIH® formulates a conclusion on what level of exposure the typical worker can experience without adverse health effects. There is no consideration given to economic or technical feasibility.

The Notice of Intended Changes (NIC) is comprised of those substances and physical agents for which a limit/BEI® is proposed for the first time, for which a change in the adopted value/index is proposed, for which retention as an NIC is proposed, or for which withdrawal of the documentation and adopted TLV®/BEI® is proposed. In each case, the proposals should be considered trial values during the period they are on the NIC. These proposals were ratified by the ACGIH® board of directors and will remain on the NIC for approximately one year following this ratification. If during the year, the committee neither finds nor receives any substantive data that change its scientific opinion regarding an NIC TLV®/BEI®, the committee may then approve its recommendation to the ACGIH® board of directors for adoption. If the committee finds or receives substantive data that change its scientific opinion regarding an NIC TLV®/BEI®, the committee may change its recommendation to the ACGIH® board of directors for the matter to be either retained or withdrawn from the NIC.

Here are some, not all, of the ACGIH® recently announced actions:

PHYSICAL AGENTS TLVs® 2009 NOTICE OF INTENDED CHANGES (NIC) Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Sub-Radiofrequency and Static Electric Fields Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Ultraviolet Radiation Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Lasers Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Ionizing Radiation

2009 ADOPTIONS Electromagnetic Radiation and Fields Static Magnetic Fields

2009 UNDER STUDY LIST Ergonomics - Introduction/statement on work-related musculoskeletal disorders - Hand-arm vibration - Localized fatigue - Whole body vibration Thermal Stress - Cold stress

BIOLOGICAL EXPOSURE INDICES (BEIs®) 2009 NOTICE OF INTENDED CHANGES (NIC) 2-Methoxyethanol/2-Methoxyethyl Acetate Methyl isobutyl ketone Toluene Uranium Vanadium pentoxide (withdraw adopted documentation and BEI® due to new data)

2009 ADOPTIONS Carbon disulfide Tetrachloroethylene

2009 UNDER STUDY LIST Chemical Substances Alachor Beryllium Fluorides Manganese Mercury a-Methyl styrene Naphthalene

ACGIH® is a member-based organization that advances occupational and environmental health. ACGIH® publishes approximately 400 titles relative to occupational and environmental health and safety, including the TLVs® and BEIs®.

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