Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: NIOSH Pocket Guide On Chemical Hazards
One of the most useful and handy references on chemical safety is the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Safety Health (NIOSH) “Pocket Guide On Chemical Hazards.” This free booklet has been published for over forty years and gives general industrial hygiene information for over 600 chemicals. It helps employers recognize and control workplace chemical hazards. The pocket guide includes a wealth of information including NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limits (REL) and the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for general industry. It also includes physical description, chemical & physical properties, personal protection and sanitation, respirator recommendations, incompatibilities, exposure routes, symptoms, and target organs, and first aid. It provides the formula, Chemical Abstracts Service number (CAS#), registry of toxic effects of chemical substances number (RTECS#), Department of Transportation (DOT) ID and guide numbers, and NIOSH Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) standards among other information. There are also several appendices with important information.
The pocket guide is updated periodically to reflect new data regarding the toxicity of various substances and any changes in exposure standards or recommendations. One can search on-line by chemical name, synonyms and trade names, CAS#, and RTECS#. A hard copy can be ordered for free on the CDC website and a pdf version of the guide is available for download. As of 2016, a mobile app is available at It allows one to search by chemical name, trade name or synonym, DOT number and CAS number. This valuable resource can also save chemical records as favorites for later use, customize how to view chemical data, as well as, review chemical records for physical properties, health hazards, first aid, respirator and personal protective equipment recommendations, and regulatory information.It is important to have information on chemical safety.
The NIOSH pocket guide is a quick and useful source. It along with safety data sheets and other on-line and printed materials can be helpful in protecting employees from chemical hazards.
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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