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International Brominated Solvents Ass'n v. American Conference of Governmental Indus. Hygienists

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20130
Nos. No. 5:04-cv-394, (M.D. Ga., 05/02/2008)

A district court dismissed claims that the workplace safety exposure levels—or threshold limit values—for silica, copper, n-propyl bromide, and diesel particulate matter are adopted by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in violation of federal and state law. The court dismissed trade associations' claims that the ACGIH was engaging in deceptive trade practices in violation of Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA). The ACGIH, a nonprofit association comprised of a group of scientists that adopts workplace safety exposure levels, is more like an entity designed to promote ideas than one that engages in deceptive advertising in an effort to derive a financial benefit. The court, therefore, rejected the idea that the UDTPA should be used "to stifle ACGIH’s dissemination of its opinions as to what exposure levels of certain substances are in fact safe." The court also dismissed the associations' claims that the DOL's reliance on and enforcement of ACGIH's threshold limit values violate the Administrative Procedure Act. The associations failed to show that the ACGIH is an "advisory committee" under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.