The Phylmar Group. Inc. Newsletter
April 2016
Issue # 75: States Consider Over 60 Bills Regulating Chemicals in 2016; OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica  

April 2016

Dear Subscriber,  

Welcome to the April 2016 edition of the Phylmar Newsletter. 
We begin with an article that provides an overview of the chemical regulation bills that U.S state legislatures are now considering.  Even as the congress is near finalizing reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), states are not waiting around and are considering a range of bills in this area.  Also included is a link to a detailed chart covering the proposed legislation.

We then turn to OSHA's recently published final rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica.  The rule is a product of an extensive rulemaking process that first began with a proposal back in September 2013.  Some background information, key provisions and compliance schedule are provided.      
Finally, we want to remind folks to come visit the PhylmarTV channel on YouTube to find videos covering a variety of topics for the EHS/Sustainability professional.

As always, please provide us with any feedback you might have and let us know if there is a topic that you'd like us t o cover in future newsletters .
Mark Katchen, CIH
Managing Principal 
The Phylmar Group, Inc.

States Consider Over 60 Bills Regulating Chemicals in 2016
Summary of article by Mark Duvall, Ryan Carra, and Tim Serie, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., March 18, 2016

Although legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is nearing completion, states are continuing to propose restrictions on chemicals.  Currently, over 20 states are considering 60 different bills that would regulate the manufacture and sale of chemicals or restrict their use in products.  Some would establish broad regulatory authority to regulate chemicals in products, similar to California's Safer Consumer Products regulations.  Others are drafted to target specific chemicals of concern or narrow product types.  Almost half of the proposals would regulate the use of chemicals in children's products.  Other areas of state legislative activity include limitations on the use of flame retardants, mercury, bisphenol A, and a focus on personal care products, cosmetics, and cleaning products.  The requirements range from notification or labeling rules to prohibitions on certain chemicals in defined products.  This chart provides a detailed overview of active state bills in the 2016 legislative cycle.

In particular, state legislation on flame retardants is increasing.  Eleven U.S. states are considering bills that would curb the use of flame retardants in products such as upholstered furniture and products for children.  On March 17, 2016, the mayor of the District of Columbia signed into law a bill that will restrict the use of listed flame retardants in most consumer products by 2019.  Most of the other flame retardant bills are narrower in scope, but would still apply material restrictions to a broad range of products.  In addition, many of the bills also contain provisions barring the replacement of restricted flame retardants with other hazardous chemicals classified as carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants, or endocrine disruptors.  If enacted, these jurisdictions would join the list of states that have already adopted similar restrictions on flame retardants.     

To view the complete article click here.
To read a companion article on state green chemistry initiatives click here
OSHA's Final Rule to Protect Workers from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica
Excerpts from OSHA's Silica Final Rule Web Page,, March 25, 2016
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America's workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.  The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.  These rules are based on extensive review of peer reviewed scientific evidence, current industry consensus standards, an extensive public outreach effort, and nearly a year of public comment, including several weeks of public hearings.  They provide commonsense, affordable and flexible strategies for employers to protect workers.

What is Crystalline Silica and How do Workplace Exposures Occur?

  • Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in materials that we see every day in roads, buildings, and sidewalks.  It is a common component of sand, stone, rock, concrete, brick, block, and mortar.
  • Exposures to crystalline silica dust occur in common workplace operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling, and crushing of concrete, brick, block, rock, and stone products (such as construction tasks), and operations using sand products (such as in glass manufacturing, foundries, sandblasting, and hydraulic fracturing).

Key Provisions

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
  • Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
  • Provides flexibility to help employers - especially small businesses - protect workers from silica exposure.

Compliance Schedule

  • Both standards contained in the final rule take effect on June 23, 2016., after which industries have one to five years to comply with most requirements.
  • Construction - June 23, 2017, one year after the effective date.
  • General Industry and Maritime - June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date.
  • Hydraulic Fracturing - June 23, 2018, two years after the effective date for all provisions except Engineering Controls, which have a compliance date of June 23, 2021.

To view the final rule and for more information click here.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Events

Ceres Conference 2016, Boston, MA, May 4-5, 2016

AIHce 2016, Baltimore, MD, May 21-26, 2016

Shanghai Chemicals Summit, Shanghai, China, June 21-22, 2016

15th Annual Sustainability Summit , New York, NY, June 22-23, 2016

Safety 2016, Atlanta, GA, June 26-29, 2016
Did You Know?
Did you know as a PRR, AFIRM or Biopharma EHS Forum member that your benefits included access to Phylmar's global consulting network providing concierge level service and the Phylmar Academy for continuing EHS education and employee training?  You can save up to 20% on these services through your membership.  Contact Mark Katchen ( ) for more information.
About The Phylmar Group, Inc.
The Phylmar GroupĀ® is an organization that partners with best-in-class companies on their most challenging environmental, health and safety, and social responsibility issues by working in a vertically integrated way from anticipating clients' needs from strategy to implementation. This is achieved through trusted expert client advisors who deliver innovative, responsible, efficient solutions addressing client needs and creating added value. For more information, visit or call 310.474. +1 310.474.3937.

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