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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AB76 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Occupational Exposure to Beryllium 

In 1999 and 2001, OSHA was petitioned to issue an emergency temporary standard for permissible exposure limit (PEL) to beryllium by the United Steel Workers (formerly the Paper Allied-Industrial, Chemical, and Energy Workers Union), Public Citizen Health Research Group, and others. The Agency denied the petitions but stated its intent to begin data gathering to collect needed information on beryllium's toxicity, risks, and patterns of usage. On November 26, 2002, OSHA published a Request for Information (RFI) (67 FR 70707) to solicit information pertinent to occupational exposure to beryllium, including: current exposures to beryllium; the relationship between exposure to beryllium and the development of adverse health effects; exposure assessment and monitoring methods; exposure control methods; and medical surveillance. In addition, the Agency conducted field surveys of selected worksites to assess current exposures and control methods being used to reduce employee exposures to beryllium. OSHA convened a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) and completed the SBREFA Report in January 2008. OSHA also completed a scientific peer review of its draft risk assessment.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Private Sector 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 1910   
Legal Authority: 29 U.S.C. 655(b)    29 U.S.C. 657   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

Exposure to beryllium causes a disabling and potentially fatal chronic lung disease called Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD). Exposure to beryllium has also been linked to lung cancer. OSHA proposed to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by 10 times to 0.2 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) over an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) and a short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 µg/m3 over 15 minutes. The proposal also included important requirements such as medical surveillance, medical removal protection, regulated areas, training, and engineering controls.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

29 U.S.C. 655(b); 29 U.S.C. 657


OSHA also proposed regulatory alternatives to its proposed beryllium rule. These include: scope alternatives to address exposures in the construction and maritime industries; changes to the proposed PEL and STEL; and changes to the proposed ancillary provisions for exposure assessment, personal protective clothing and equipment, medical surveillance, and medical removal.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The proposed rule for beryllium covers approximately 35,000 workers in General Industry, and OSHA estimated that the proposed rule when fully implemented would produce $575.8 million in annualized benefits over 60 years, far outweighing the expected cost of $37.6 million annually for workplaces in General Industry.


Prevent 92 deaths from chronic beryllium disease, 4 deaths from lung cancer, and 50 non-fatal cases of chronic beryllium disease each year.

Action Date FR Cite
Request for Information (RFI)  11/26/2002  67 FR 70707   
RFI Comment Period End  02/24/2003 
SBREFA Report Completed  01/23/2008    
Initiated Peer Review of Health Effects and Risk Assessment  03/22/2010    
Complete Peer Review  11/19/2010    
NPRM  08/07/2015  80 FR 47565   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/05/2015 
Notice of Public Hearing; Date 02/29/2016  12/30/2015  80 FR 81475   
Notice of Public Hearing; Date Change 03/21/2016  02/16/2016  81 FR 7717   
Final Rule  01/00/2017 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
William Perry
Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW., FP Building, Room N-3718,
Washington, DC 20210
Phone:202 693-1950
Fax:202 693-1678