Regulatory Updates – ACMA Insider – March 21, 2024

EPA Finds Workplace Exposure to Formaldehyde Presents an Unreasonable Risk to Human Health

EPA has preliminarily concluded that reduced pulmonary function, increased asthma prevalence, reduced asthma control, allergy-related conditions, male and female reproductive toxicity, and developmental effects are associated with chronic inhalation exposure to formaldehyde.

Workers currently employed in 41 occupational scenarios, including processing as a reactant, incorporation into an article, and incorporation into a mixture, are exposed at levels corresponding to what the agency determined is “unreasonable risk” of these health effects. The 8-hour occupational exposure limit would have to be set at 0.0011 ppm to avoid unreasonable risk for workers, according to EPA’s draft assessment; the current ACGIH recommended limit is 0.1 ppm.

Following peer review of the draft and consideration of public comments, and issuance of the final risk evaluation, EPA will proceed with development of a risk management standard that may ban or limit certain uses of formaldehyde or require adoption of controls to prevent workplace exposures above the levels associated with unreasonable risk.

Contact John Schweitzer for more information.