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Key definitions
  • Key definitions for methylene chloride may be found in this section.

Action level: A concentration of airborne methylene chloride of 12.5 parts per million (ppm) calculated as an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA).

Authorized person: Any person specifically authorized by the employer and required by work duties to be present in regulated areas, or any person entering such an area as a designated representative of employees for the purpose of exercising the right to observe monitoring and measuring procedures under 1910.1052(d), or any other person authorized by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act or regulations issued under the Act.

Emergency: Any occurrence such as, but not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers, or failure of control equipment, which results, or is likely to result in an uncontrolled release of methylene chloride. If an incidental release can be controlled by employees such as maintenance personnel at the time of release and in accordance with the leak/spill provisions required by 1910.1052(f), it is not considered an emergency.

Employee exposure: Exposure to airborne methylene chloride which occurs or would occur if the employee were not using respiratory protection.

Permissible exposure limit (PEL): 25 parts methylene chloride per million parts of air (ppm) as an eight-hour TWA. This refers to the average exposure during an eight-hour period. Employers must use engineering and work practice controls to limit employee exposures. Respiratory protection must be used in addition if these controls are insufficient to reduce exposures to below the limits.

Physician or other licensed health care professional: An individual whose legally permitted scope of practice (i.e., license, registration, or certification) allows him or her to independently provide or be delegated the responsibility to provide some or all of the health care services required by paragraph (j) of 1910.1052.

Regulated area: An area, demarcated by the employer, where an employee’s exposure to airborne concentrations of methylene chloride exceeds or can reasonably be expected to exceed either the eight-hour TWA PEL or the short-term exposure limit (STEL).

Symptom: Central nervous system effects such as headaches, disorientation, dizziness, fatigue, and decreased attention span; skin effects such as chapping, erythema, cracked skin, or skin burns; and cardiac effects such as chest pain or shortness of breath.