Many of you are aware of efforts in recent years to come up with a legally sound system for updating the PELs. Updating the hundreds of PELs, many of which set exposure limits based on research from the 1950s and 60s, has been a top priority of American Industrial Hygiene Association members for years.

Now, according to AIHA Government Affairs Director Aaron Trippler, OSHA boss Dr. David Michaels has appointed an internal agency task force to gather options on how to address the thorny issue. “Once this internal task force has the options available and presented these to Dr. Michaels the task force will be expanded to include labor, industry and other stakeholders in the issue,” writes Trippler in his monthly dispatch, “Happenings from the Hill.”

AIHA has appointed its own advisory group to work on this issue and has now “paused” efforts to see what options come from the OSHA task force, writes Trippler.

“Let’s face it; there are numerous options to consider. The first question to be addressed is ‘should the PELs be updated?’ That may sound like an easy question to answer but is more difficult than one thinks. If the answer is ‘yes’, then how do we go about updating the PELs? If the answer is ‘no’, then what alternatives are there?” says Trippler.