OSHA revises respiratory protection rule
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised
its existing respiratory proteciton standard and added definitions and
requirements for assigned protection factors (APFs) and maximum use concentrations
When OSHA published the final respiratory proteciton standard--29 Code
of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.134--in 1998, it noted that the revised
standard was to "serve as a 'building block' standard with respect
to future standards that may contain respiratory proteciton requirements."
The 1998 standard established the minimum elements of a comprehensive
respiratory program. The only parts missing were the now finalized APF
and MUC provisions.
APF is the workplace level of respiratory proteciton that a respirator
or class of respirators is expected to provide when an employer implements
a continuing, effective respiratory proteciton program.
MUC is the maximum atmospheric concentration of a hazardous substance
from which an employee can be expected to be protected when wearing a
respirator. It is determined by the APF of the respirator or class of
respirators and the exposure limit of the hazardous substance.
MUC can be calcuated by multiplying the specified APF by the OSHA exposure
limit. When no OSHA exposure limit is available, an employer must determine
and MUC based on all available information and informed professional judgment.
Employers must use the APFs from Table 1 of 29 CFR 1910.134 to select
a respirator that meets or exceeds the required level of protection.
These revisions also supersede the respirator selection provisions of
the following substance-specific standards:
- Acrylonitrile--29 CFR 1819,1945
- Asbestos--19 CFR 1910.1001, 29 CFR 1915.1001 and 29 CFR 1926.1101
- Benzene--29 CFR 1910.1028
- Cadmium--29 CFR 1910.1027 and 29 CFR 1926.1127
- Coke oven emissions--29 CFR 1910.1029
- Cotton dust--29 CFR 1910.1043
- 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane--29 CFR 1910.1044
- Ethylene oxide--29 CFR 1910.1047
- Formaldehyde--29 CFR 1910.1048
- Inorganic arsenic--29 CFR 1910.1018
- Lead--29 CFR 1910.1025 and 29 CFR 1926.62
- Methylene chloride--29 CFR 1910.1052
- Methylenedianiline--29 CFR 1910.1050 and 29 CFR 1926.60
- Vinyl chloride--29 CFR 1910.107
This final rule becomes effective November 22, 2006.