249628 TSCA Reform Implications for the Workplace

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Michael Wright, MS , Health and Safety, United Steelworkers, Pittsburgh, PA
Chemical hazards affecting the general public are often first identified through the experience of workers. Examples include the pesticide DBCP, which causes male sterility; the food additive diacetyl, which causes the fatal lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans; and the carcinogen vinyl chloride. In fact, workers have been the study population for the majority of epidemiological investigations identifying chemical carcinogens. TSCA reform should therefore consider workers to be a vulnerable population, not because of greater sensitivity to harmful chemicals, but because of higher and earlier exposure. Of course, OSHA and MSHA also have regulatory authority over workplace chemicals, so a reformed TSCA should be compatible with the OSH Act and the Mine Act.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how to craft TSCA provisions for workplace chemicals which will protect workers directly, while enhancing OSHA and MSHA rulemaking and enforcement.

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Occupational Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michael Wright is the Director of Health, Safety and Environment for the United Steelworkers, a union representing 850,000 workers in the United States and Canada, including the majority of organized chemical workers. He was trained as an industrial hygienist at the Harvard School of Public Health, and has worked on toxic chemical issues for more than 30 years, including the effort to pass comprehensive TSCA reform legislation in the 111th Congress.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.