The chemical, called 1-BP, has been increasingly used in workplaces over the last two decades, according to OSHA. It was nominated as a chemical of concern in OSHA's Web forum to identify hazardous chemicals.
Exposure has been associated with damage to the nervous system and reproductive harm in animal studies. Workers may be at risk by breathing in vapors or spray mists and by absorption through the skin.
"Workers exposed to this toxic chemical can suffer serious health effects, even long after exposure has ended," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Hazardous exposure to 1-BP must be prevented. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their workers."
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offer the following suggestions for employers:
- Eliminate the use of 1-BP by substituting the chemical with a less toxic substance or less hazardous material. However, the agencies warn that replacement chemicals may also have associated hazards that should be considered and controlled.
- Isolate workplace operations and install proper ventilation systems when 1-BP is being used.
- Reduce the time a worker is exposed to the chemical.
By Nancy Grover
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 30, 2013
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