But give OSHA the Booby Prize for “most ambiguous” News Release on their website announcing the rule.
In its Trade News Release, May 21, 2010: “Occupational exposures to hexavalent chromium can occur among workers handling pigments, spray paints and coatings containing chromates, operating chrome plating baths, and welding or cutting metals containing chromium, such as stainless steel.”
Cutting metals containing chromium, such as stainless steel!
Our industry cuts stainless steel in our machines at ambient temperatures every day. Not to worry, no hex chrome involved. Our machine cutting processes are not “oxidative.” They don’t make the chromium in stainless steel “hexavalent.”
Here’s what another place on the OSHA website says about forming hexavalent chromium from stainless steel :
“Hexavalent chromium can also be formed when performing “hot work” such as welding on stainless steel or melting chromium metal. In these situations the chromium is not originally hexavalent, but the high temperatures involved in the process result in oxidation that converts the chromium to a hexavalent state.” Link.
What the OSHA Trade Release should have said was “HOT WORK TORCH CUTTING” that can generate a metal fume.
In the mean time, even if OSHA can’t speak with precision, we just want to let you know that if you happen to do HOT WORK welding or torch cutting on stainless steels, decorative or hard chrome electroplating or any other process involving – say- chromic acid, that June 15th, 2010 is the effective date for the direct final rule requiring employers to notify their workers of all hexavalent chromium exposures.
Everybody else- just relax.
It’s still safe to use stainless steel to eat your food. To make your cookstove and kitchen appliances. Your pots and pans. And to machine precision parts on your cam type automatic or cnc precision machining lathe or mill. Photo: Sur la Table
Its still okay to use this too, just don’t take it on a plane.