OSHAIn what AIHA Government Affairs Director Aaron K. Trippler calls a "surprise" move, OSHA has put a Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)-related item on its regulatory agenda.

Trippler said the prerule stage issue titled Review/Lookback of OSHA Chemical Standards is an effort to update the PELS.

"The surprise isn’t only that OSHA addressed this issue but that it would be placed in the regulatory agenda," wrote Trippler in his Happenings from the Hill report. "The agenda item doesn’t really call for rulemaking but rather a 'request for information,' hopefully by August."

OSHA has tried to update the PELs numerous times over the past dozen years, with little success. Last year the agency created an internal working group to discuss options for updating the PELs.

"This group came back with no viable options at this time which many thought meant the issue would once again be relegated to the back room. Dr. Michaels surprised many with placing this on the regulatory agenda and shows he has a real interest in seeking a solution for the problem."

Trippler said AIHA has been involved with the issue for many years. "With the placement of this item on the regulatory agenda, AIHA hopes to bring back the AIHA working group on PELs to see if we can provide input to the agency. Many still believe the only option is some sort of congressional legislative measure, but one has to start somewhere."