The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a 60-day public comment period and a public listening session for the draft human health assessment of a toxicological review of hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6), a metal used in many industries — including automotive service and repair due to welding, sanding and grinding of some motor vehicle parts — can be toxic and is considered to be a carcinogen when inhaled. The question for the EPA is whether to adopt a strict risk measure as California did or to adhere more to a less-stringent standard.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued standards in 2006 that limited workplace exposure to hexavalent chromium. It has been determined by OSHA that average levels of the substance that workers are exposed to today places them at significant health risks.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) has expressed concern about the lowering of the permissible level because of the lack of data as to the potential economic impact the lower level will have on collision members. Refinishing products as well as sanding, grinding and welding vehicle parts each present the opportunity for hexavalent chromium to exist in a collision repair setting.
The public listening session will be held Nov. 20 of this year.
To view full text of the EPA’s notice of public comment period and listening session in the Federal Register, visit ASA’s legislative website. Click on the “Track Agency Rule Changes” button and look under “Key Rule Changes – Federal Agencies.”