PEER unveils database on workplace chemical exposures

OSHA Data on Peer

Photo: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Washington – A new database from watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility lists workplace chemical exposure readings taken during OSHA inspections.

Users of the Worker Right-to-Know website can search for exposures by year, state, establishment type and substance. PEER states in a press release that it hopes that the information will help workers and doctors determine causes of “mysterious illnesses.”

The group collected the information from OSHA, covering investigations conducted from 1984 to 2013. More than 500 substances have been recorded. The website displays information about cancer risk and “non-cancer critical effect,” as well as number of inspections and establishments for each substance.

The database also displays an “inspections heatmap” to show which states have the most inspections. PEER is requesting that OSHA use its air sampling information to determine need for inspections and increase the number of inspections conducted. Additionally, the group is calling for NIOSH to perform a new survey of occupational exposures, noting that the previous survey was conducted 35 years ago.