Categories
occupational safety

Do OSHA regulations keep up with the science?

The Pump Handle blog had a post the other day by David Michaels (a professor at George Washington University) questioning government efforts in occupational exposure of beryllum. Chronic Beryllium Disease is an inflammatory lung disease. OSHA regulations are based on old data which has been superceded by new findings. The Department of Energy has already changed its regulations for protective action and lowered the workplace exposure level that triggers protective action by a factor of 10.

This sounds like the history of asbestos regulation. For decades people in industry knew asbestos exposure was dangerous, but even after regulations were instituted, science continued to learn more about the toxic effects of asbestos. The regulations did not always keep up, and we got a legacy of asbestos diseases.