The purpose of the sampling is to measure potential or actual employee exposure to potential health hazards during recovery operations. Sampling was conducted in a variety of locations throughout the storm affected areas. The results of this first round of sampling show that while some contaminants were present, such as carbon monoxide, asbestos and silica, they have so far not exceeded any of OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits, which can be found at: http://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/pel/index.html.
"These initial results should not be taken by employers as an "all clear" signal regarding potential exposure to health hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "It is important that each employer continually ensure that workers are not overexposed. Employers can accomplish this by performing site assessments to determine potential hazards and institute effective measures to protect workers against exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos, lead and mold."
OSHA will continue to conduct industrial hygiene monitoring on a rotating basis at various locations where recovery work is being performed. The results will be posted on OSHA's website. The monitoring is one element of OSHA's ongoing efforts to protect the safety and health of workers cleaning up after Sandy.