If you have ever opened a dry-cleaning bag and put on a freshly laundered garment, you know that dry-cleaning can make clothes look and smell almost new. That freshness, however, is created using chemicals that may be potentially harmful to employees who work in the dry-cleaning process. Although today’s dry-cleaners are moving away from using perchloroethylene, a toxic chemical that may cause cancer, the work-related health effects of the chemicals taking its place are unknown.
From an OSHA Letter of Interpretation:
Scenario: An employee is dry cutting concrete in an outdoor, well-ventilated environment that creates a small amount of dust that never approaches the permissible exposure limit (PEL), and the supervisor advises the employee to put a dust mask on.
Question: Does a supervisor advising an employee to put on a dust mask constitute non-voluntary (required) use even though the generated dust amount is below the PEL?
Reply: Respiratory protection is required when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee or whenever respirators are required by the employer.
Air-purifying respirators are many types of negative-pressure respirators which include chemical media and mechanical filters. Positive pressure respirators include powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). Air-Purifying escape respirators (APER) are used by the general public for radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism incidents.
An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. The general industry standard protects the health of employees from harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, and vapors.
Z88.2 is a new standard that sets the pace for the respirator program for the next decade. The 2015 version incorporates regulatory and national standards changes that have occurred during the past 23 years.
In healthcare, workers wear filtering facepiece respirators as protection against inhaling infectious particles such as viruses and bacteria, but safe use does not end with putting on, or donning, the respirator.
A new study from Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE) on the health impacts of exposure to salon chemicals on the (mostly) women who work in personal care salons is the first of its kind. The study, Beauty and Its Beast: Unlocking the Impact of Toxic Chemicals on Salon Workers, indicates long-term exposure to products routinely used in salons leads to an array of negative health conditions frequently suffered by beauticians and other salon workers.
In the past year and a half, more than 20 weather and climate disasters, each with losses exceeding $1 billion, occurred in the U.S. and Canada. Consisting of 11 severe storms, four floods, a drought, regional wildfires, and a winter storm, these events caused 185 deaths.