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DOL/OSHA RIN: 1218-AB76 Publication ID: Spring 2017 
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.  OSHA published a NPRM for a comprehensive beryllium standard for general industry on August 7, 2015 (80 FR 47565) and convened an informal public hearing on the proposed hearings in Washington, D.C., on March 21 and 22, 2016.  Following the Agency's review and consideration of comments and testimony received on the proposed standard, OSHA published final comprehensive standards for general industry, construction and shipyards on January 9, 2017 (82 FR 2470).  In accordance with the Presidential directive as expressed in the memorandum of January 20, 2017 from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff entitled "Regulatory Freeze Pending Review," OSHA delayed the effective dated of the standard to May 20, 2017, to allow OSHA officials the opportunity for further review and consideration of the new regulations.  Based on this review and the comments received in response to extending the effective date on June 27, 2017. OSHA proposed changes to the standards that apply to construction and shipyard operations.

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
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 reduced the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by 10 times to 0.2 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air (µg/m 3 ) over an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) and a short term exposure limit (STEL) of 2.0 µg/m 3 over 15 minutes. OSHA also included 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


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Not yet estimated. 


Not yet estimated.

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  01/09/2017  82 FR 2470   
Final Rule; Delay of Effective Date  02/01/2017  82 FR 8901   
Final Rule; Proposed Further Delay of Effective Date  03/02/2017  82 FR 12318   
Final Rule; Further Delay of Effective Date  03/21/2017  82 FR 14439   
Final Rule; Further Delay of Effective Date Effective  05/20/2017 
NPRM  06/27/2017  82 FR 29182   
NPRM Comment Period End  08/28/2017 
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