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Society of the Plastics Indus. v. OSHA

Citation: 5 ELR 20157
No. No. 74-2284, 509 F.2d 1301/(2d Cir., 01/31/1975)

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds an Occupational Safety and Health Administration's health standard which requires that no worker in the vinyl chloride industry be exposed to concentrations of vinyl chloride in excess of one part per million (ppm) averaged over an eight-hour period. OSHA's choice of the one ppm exposure standard is supported by substantial evidence in the record, including numerous studies which show vinyl chloride to cause cancer in rats at concentrations as low as 50 ppm, and the recent deaths of thirteen vinyl chloride workers from a rare form of liver cancer. The court disagrees with petitioner's contention that the standard is technologically infeasible and clearly impossible of attainment, and notes that in any case OSHA has the power to set standards which require improvements in existing technologies or the development of new ones. The standard's effective date of January 1, 1975 is delayed until April 1, 1975, however, in order to provide a reasonable lead time for compliance efforts by the industry. See also, Comment, OSHA Standards for Vinyl Chloride Plants Upheld, 5 ELR 10042 (Mar. 1975).

Counsel for Petitioners
John J. Cassidy, Jr.
Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz
39 South La Salle Street
Chicago, Ill. 60603

Counsel for Respondents
Stephen F. Eilperin Asst. Chief, Appellate Section
Civil Division
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Counsel for Intervenor Industrial Union Dept., AFL-CIO
George H. Cohen
Bredhoff, Cushman, Gottesman & Cohen
1000 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Counsel for Intervenor AFL-CIO
Lawrence Gold
Woll, Mayer & Gold
736 Bowen Building
815 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005