New OSHA Standard for Hexavalent Chromium Exposure
OSHA recently announced a new standard for exposure to hexavalent chromium, published on February 28, 2006 and effective 90-days from publication. Hexavalent chromium is used in electroplating, stainless steel production and in paints and pigments. Airborne exposures are possible in these manufacturing applications as well as in the thermal cutting and welding of stainless steel and in the application of chromium laden paints and coatings. The new standard lowers the Permissible Exposure Level (PEL) from 52 to 5 micrograms/cubic meter.
Hexavalent chromium may be monitored by one of several test methods published by NIOSH and OSHA. NIOSH lists two test methods; 7600 and 7604, and OSHA lists ID-215 that are intended for hexavalent chromium. (NIOSH also lists methods 7300 and 7024 that apply to total chromium, and therefore are not recommended here).
The two NIOSH hexavalent chromium methods, 7600 and 7604 both use a 37mm PVC filter at 1 to 4 LPM. Method 7600 uses a laboratory analysis method that will detect lower levels than 7604, so it may be the preferred NIOSH method. (The laboratory method for NIOSH 7600 is also the same as for the OSHA ID-215 method, which is another reason to be the preferred NIOSH method.). The OSHA ID-215 method is very similar to the NIOSH methods, calling for a flow rate of 2 LPM. Therefore, if you sample at 2 LPM, all three of the field sampling methods are the same, although the laboratory analysis method for NIOSH 7602 differs from the other two.
Any of these sampling methods can utilize a GilAir-3, GilAir-5 or Gilian 3500 pump and standard flow Gilibrator 2. The filter cassette required is Sensidyne P/N GCU37500PVC, and it would require filter holder (hose and clip) assembly 800143.