Since the pulp & paper manufacturing is a very old and large industry, OSHA has enforced specific standards in order to protect all of the employees and facilities. When processing pulp and paper, multiple chemicals and dusts can become highly concentrated in the air and present both threats to human health and combustible dust hazards. Below are some important PELs for these dusts and chemicals.
- Nuisance Dust
- Respirable Fraction: 5 mg/m³
- Total: 15 mg/m³
- Cellulose (Paper Fiber): 15 mg/m³
- Chlorine Dioxide: 0.1 ppm or 0.3 mg/m³
It's important to consider the limits set out by other organizations as they influence law-making. Also, they are typically stricter which lowers the risk of combustion and harm.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) recommends:
- Respirable Fraction: 1 mg/m³
The American Counsel of Government Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends limits for the chemicals based on the severity of their impact on worker health. They recommend limits of:
- Cellulose: 10 mg/m³
- Chlorine Dioxide: 0.1 ppm
In regards to pulp, paper, and paperboard mills, OSHA has specified how the standards and airborne substances should be handled.
"Whenever possible, all dust, fumes, and gases incident to handling materials shall be controlled at the source, in accordance with American National Standard Z9.2—1960."
To view more regulations and recommendations for this industry, visit the following websites.
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor
ACGIH - American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency
CSB - U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Please note, this is a list of common applicable regulations, not a comprehensive list of all regulations applicable to this industry and may not reflect the latest publications.