ACGIH®/RCFC LAWSUIT SETTLED
Cincinnati, Ohio - July 2, 2001 - In December 2000, the Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition (RCFC) filed suit against ACGIH® based on a concern about the meaning of the ACGIH® TLV® for refractory ceramic fibers (RCF). RCFC and ACGIH® have met and discussed the meaning of the ACGIH® TLV® for RCF, and the parties have agreed to clarify the meaning of the TLV® for RCF as follows:
The ACGIH® TLV® are established by ACGIH® in accordance with its "Policy Statement on the Uses of TLVs® and BEIs®." The Policy Statement specifies that the TLVs® "are developed as guidelines to assist in the control of health hazards. These recommendations or guidelines are intended for use in the practice of industrial hygiene, to be interpreted and applied only by a person trained in this discipline. They are not developed for use as legal standards and ACGIH® does not advocate their use as such."
No TLV®, including the TLV® for refractory ceramic fibers, represents a judgment that other exposure guidelines, which may be based on other parameters, are appropriate or inappropriate. The TLVs® represent conditions under which ACGIH® believes that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed without adverse health effects. They are not fine lines between safe and dangerous exposures, nor are they a relative index of toxicity. TLVs® should not be used by anyone untrained in the discipline of industrial hygiene.
ACGIH® recognizes that other not-for-profit organizations, industry, and individual companies also develop and recommend workplace health and safety guidelines. Examples of such guidelines are those of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the National Fire Protection Association, RCFC, and many individual companies such as Dow, Dupont, Merck, and ExxonMobil. ACGIH® encourages and commends any such guidelines that are based on credible health science, undertaken with a process that includes rigorous, independent wide-spread peer review and that help to protect workers from hazardous exposures. The guidelines developed by others, such as those noted above, are sometimes more restrictive than the TLVs® and sometimes less restrictive. However, many times they are developed for substances for which there are no TLVs®.
Based on this clarification, the parties have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit. RCFC has advised ACGIH® that it has developed additional data regarding RCFC, and will be submitting that data for review by ACGIH®. ACGIH® has agreed to review this data.
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