WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has delayed its rulemaking on perchloroethylene, according to a report in Update, a newsletter produced by Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance, Inc. (HSIA), Washington. OSHA’s earlier plan was to propose a revised workplace limit next spring. This decision appears to be based on OSHA’s plan to issue a substance-specific standard for perchloroethylene with ancillary provisions such as medical surveillance, according to the report.

A proposed standard will not likely be issued until at least late 2001. A final standard will take several years to adopt, and compliance would not be required until some time after that.

OSHA’s staff has been conducting health and feasibility assessments to determine an appropriate exposure limit for the substance in its various applications, the report states.

The current OSHA limit for perchloroethylene is 100 ppm for an eight-hour time-weighted average, or TWA. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has recommended 25 ppm for an eight-hour TWA and 100 ppm for a 15-minute short-term exposure limit. Manufacturers of perchloroethylene urge users to comply with the limits suggested by the ACGIH.