Ontario Helps Protect Workers

    McGuinty Government Plans Tougher Hazardous Substances Exposure Limits

    TORONTO, July 18 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is strengthening protection for workers by implementing updated
occupational exposure limits (OELs) for hazardous workplace substances and
proposing further changes for 2008.
    OELs restrict a worker's exposure to hazardous substances on the job,
such as the solvents used in the manufacture of paints and glues.
    Ontario revises the OELs on a regular basis. Starting today, the Ministry
of Labour is beginning a 60-day consultation for changes to 2008 limits. The
consultation period allows stakeholders to comment on proposed new and revised
limits for the listed hazardous substances. The submission deadline is
September 18, 2008.
    The Ministry of Labour is also posting revised limits for substances
which were consulted on previously.


    "Our government is acting to make Ontario workplaces healthier and
safer," said Labour Minister Brad Duguid.


    -   Ontario currently has OELs for over 725 hazardous chemical

    -   OELs were first adopted into regulation in Ontario in 1986.

    -   Current limits are based on limits recommended by the American
        Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).


    Copies of the proposal are on the Ministry of Labour website, or are
available by e-mailing the OEL Update Project at oelupdateproject@Ontario.ca.
    Further information on occupational health and safety in Ontario

                                                      Disponible en français


                          - 2008 PROPOSED CHANGES -

    Ontario currently has Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) for over
725 hazardous chemical substances.
    OELs are based on the 1985 limits recommended by the American Conference
of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
    The 2008 consultation will be the fifth review under the ministry's
process to keep OELs up-to-date. A 60-day consultation for changes to 2008
limits begins today.
    New or revised OELs and listings are proposed for 21 substances (see
table) (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/oels/08_review.html). The
changes include:

    -   Proposed OELs for two substances not previously listed in Ontario
        -  Butenes, all isomers and Isobutene
        -  Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

    -   Consolidation of the following four separate listings for aluminum
        and its compounds into one listing for aluminum metal and insoluble
        -  Aluminum (powder)
        -  Alpha-alumina (total dust)
        -  Aluminum (metal and oxide dust)
        -  Emery (total dust)

    -   The withdrawal of following three listings due to ACGIH's
        determination of insufficient data to support the OEL:
        -  Aluminum (alkyl derivatives)
        -  Aluminum (water-soluble compounds)
        -  Triphenyl amine

    -   The withdrawal of separate exposure limits for welding fume:
        -  Worker exposure to aluminum-containing fume will be regulated by
           the OEL for aluminum metal and insoluble compounds
        -  Worker exposure to iron-containing fume will be regulated by the
           OEL for iron oxide (Fe(2)O(3))
        -  Worker exposure to welding fume, not otherwise classified, will be
           regulated as Particles (insoluble or poorly soluble) Not Otherwise
        -  Revised exposure limits or listings for 11 other substances

    -   The development of an OEL for a specific particle size fraction for
        seven substances previously regulated.

    Stakeholders are invited to submit comments to the ministry on any or all
of the proposed OEL changes and to nominate substances for development of an
OEL where ACGIH does not list a recommended exposure limit for that substance
and does not have one under development.
    After the consultation closes on September 18, 2008, MOL staff will
review stakeholder submissions and hold focussed meetings with concerned
stakeholders as necessary. Based on consideration and analysis of feedback
from stakeholders, MOL will develop recommendations for ministerial approval
concerning appropriate exposure limits for the proposed substances.

    Comments should be sent in writing by September 18, 2008 to:

    The OEL Update Project
    Ontario Ministry of Labour
    400 University Ave., 12th Fl.
    Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
    Fax: 416-326-7650
    Phone: 416-326-9299
    E-mail: oelupdateproject@Ontario.ca

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416)
326-7710; Bruce Skeaff, Communications Branch, (416) 326-7405

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