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NIOSH Issues Revised Chemical Carcinogen Policy

Posted By Mark Ellis, Thursday, January 12, 2017

On December 27, 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a revised Chemical Carcinogen Policy (Current Intelligence Bulletin 68).  It is the first such revision in over 10 years and embodies a significant change in policy from earlier versions.  Among the changes:

  • Advancing the public health policy presumption that there is “no safe level” of exposure to any carcinogenic substance, rather than “no known safe level” of exposure;

  • Eliminating Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) for chemical carcinogens and instead adopting a “Risk Management Limit for a Carcinogen (RML-CA) as “an initial starting point for control;”

  • Setting RML-CAs for occupational carcinogens at the concentration corresponding to the 95% lower confidence limit of the 1 in 10,000 risk estimate for a 45-year working lifetime, instead of 1 in 1,000, but only when occupational measurement of the carcinogen at the RML-CA is analytically feasible;

  • Announcing an intention to issue authoritative documents evaluating existing cancer hazard assessments conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); and

  • Identifying elimination or substitution and engineering controls as the primary ways to prevent occupational cancer.

To view the revised NIOSH Chemical Carcinogen Policy, click here.

To view an analysis of the revised NIOSH Chemical Carcinogen Policy, click here.


Tags:  cancer  NIOSH  occupational  risk assessment 

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