an SQRC Newsletter
II, Issue 3
Welcome to the summer issue of “The Green Files.” We take you
back to basics with some summer reading about worker exposure to chemicals.
We update you on the situation in Willits, a small town in Northern California
that still needs a medical monitoring clinic. We also provide you with the
latest about the Cal/OSHA PEL process that may result in additional, potentially
lower permissible worker exposure numbers in California and beyond.
What is SQRC?
Surface Quality Resource Center, SQRC, is a not for profit, 501c3 organization.
We established SQRC as a separate entity from our consultancy to utilize
our decades of experience in chemistry, clinical chemistry, physics, and
process development for productive, environmentally-preferred projects.
Industrial activities are reality of contemporary life; the need to protect
our environment is also a reality.
The SQRC charter encompasses two basic areas:
•Education and outreach to industry and to communities
•Developing and implementing practical, environmentally-preferred processes
Reading – A
Classic in Worker
Barbara Kanegsberg, SQRC
You probably had to read the “Bill of Rights” somewhere in your
interaction with the educational system. If you work with chemicals, do you
know what you ought to read or at least glance at 29CFR 1910.1200 “Hazard
Communication”? While not as riveting as the latest “Harry Potter,” reading
29CFR 1910.1200 is actually not at all painful, and it’s very instructive.
Hopefully, your employer provides a Hazard Communication program. While training
programs are important, to be truly educated, it’s useful to get back
to the source of requirements: for programs, for labeling, for MSDS.
Update on Cal/OSHA PELs
Ed Kanegsberg, SQRC
Cal/OSHA has established a new policy for determining recommended workplace
exposure limits for airborne chemicals and has also named a panel of
experts. Once approved, the Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs)
developed by Cal/OSHA
would be legally enforceable throughout California. One might expect
the PELs to be utilized elsewhere in the U.S. Further, because
the new policy
indicates utilization of risk factors developed for a community exposure
approach (similar to that used for Proposition 65), there is a reasonable
potential for the new PELs to be significantly lower than those set by
Federal OSHA or by nationally-recognized professional organizations such
as AIHA. An initial meeting will be held on August 21.
Unmack Named to Cal/OSHA HEAC
We are pleased to announce that Jim Unmack has been selected to be
a member of the Cal/OSHA Health Expert Advisory Committee (HEAC).
Jim is a Certified
Industrial Hygienist. His background in the military, the regulatory
community, and his ongoing work with industry will provide a valuable
perspective to the HEAC in addressing the challenges of developing
the evaluation process and in setting recommendations for Permissible
Limits (PELs). Jim is a member of the Technical Advisory Panel of SQRC.
Willits STILL Needs a Medical Monitoring Clinic
Barbara Kanegsberg, SQRC
Willits is a small town in a relatively isolated geographical area in
Northern California. A single major industry utilizing many organic
chemicals, operated for decades in Willits. There has been concern on the
part of individuals with expertise in occupational and environmental medicine
about the impact of these industrial activities. Willits provides an opportune
locale for a medical monitoring clinic that would elucidate the long-term
effects (physical and psychological) of multiple chemicals on workers and
community members. In the first
issue of “Green Files,” we
promised to update you about Willits, CA, the Abex/Remco facility, and
progress on a medical monitoring clinic to assess exposure of workers
and community members to chemicals.
After 10 years of effort, the bottom line is that the Willits area still
does not have a medical monitoring clinic; and the Willits area still
needs a medical monitoring clinic.
Why is such monitoring important to you? Human activity involves risk.
Manufacturing inevitably involves multiple chemicals and processes;
and manufacturing processes
will inevitably increase in complexity. From activities of the past
we learn to avoid harmful and costly scenarios in the future. The
of a medical
monitoring clinic can potentially help you if you are a community member
that might be impacted by industry, a worker who uses chemicals, the
manager of a manufacturing plant, a healthcare professional, an industrial
a regulatory professional, or a concerned citizen.
in the subject line.