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Benzene Legislation

Did You Know?

The first major industrial use of benzene was in the rubber industry when they used the carcinogen as a solvent before World War I.

Twenty-six states have their own "OSHA" programs. These OSHA-approved State Plan programs have standards which are "at least as effective as" Federal OSHA standards. State plans provide assistance and extend their authority to most private sector and all public sector ( state and local government ) employers and employees in those States, including first and second responders. Visit State Occupational Safety and Health Plans to verify your state's status and search for standards that may apply to you. The following OSHA standards apply to benzene hazards in the workplace.


General Industry

  • 1910.1028 , Benzene.
    • App A , Substance safety data sheet.
    • App B , Substance technical guidelines.
    • App C , Medical surveillance guidelines for Benzene.
    • App D , Sampling and analytical methods for Benzene monitoring and measurement procedures.

The requirements under the following standards are identical to those set forth by General Industry 1910.1028 .


Air Contaminants.


Changes to the Regulatory and General Industry Standards .
OSHA CPL 2.35 (1990, July 25), 29 pages. This document covers changes to the Regulatory and General Industry SAVEs Manual for Air Contaminants and Occupational Exposure to Benzene.

Interpretations and Compliance Letters

The exemption afforded under the benzene standard for oil and gas drilling, production, and servicing operations .
OSHA (1995, November 30), 3 pages.

Respirator selection requirements prescribed in the OSHA standard on benzene exposure .
OSHA (1994, January 10), 2 pages.

Benzene Standard - Clarification of scope pertaining to Gasoline operations . OSHA (1989, December 26), 2 pages.

Respiratory Protection Tables .
OSHA (1989, December 18), 4 pages.

Monitoring employee exposures to airborne benzene .
OSHA (1989, November 13), 2 pages.

Interpretation of Blood Test Parameters Under the Benzene Standard . OSHA (1989, July 20), 2 pages.

Clarification on respirator use relating to the benzene standard . OSHA (1989, April 6), 3 pages.

Applicability of the Benzene Standard and respirator requirements for bulk gasoline storage facilities .
OSHA (1988, May 23), 3 pages.

Application of PEL for benzene to extended work shifts .
OSHA (1988, March 22), 2 pages.

Medical Surveillance requirements of the Benzene Standard .
OSHA (1988, March 14), 2 pages.

Review Commission and Administrative Law Judge Decisions

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) is an independent Federal agency created to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from OSHA inspections of American workplaces. To locate decisions related to this topic, search for keywords at the OSHRC site .


United States of America - Federal legislation

Occupational exposure to benzene [1987]

Serial title

Federal Register


11 Sep. 1987, Vol.52, No.176, p.34460-34578. Also available separately from: OSHA Office of Publications, US Department of Labor, Room N-3101, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210, USA.

Published in


Subject category

Chemical safety


  • benzene
  • hazard evaluation
  • limitation of exposure
  • threshold limit values
  • USA
  • animal experiments
  • benzene
  • comment on directive
  • compliance with exposure limits
  • cost of safety
  • data sheet
  • directive
  • economic aspects
  • epidemiologic study
  • exposure evaluation
  • exposure records
  • health hazards
  • leukaemia
  • medical supervision
  • personal protective equipment
  • safe working methods
  • standard


The 1978 US standard on occupational exposure to benzene (see CIS 78-1937) was vacated (voided) by the US Supreme Court in 1980, which meant that the old (1971) OSHA standard of 10ppm remained in effect. After further risk assessment, OSHA issued this reduced standard, reducing the permissible exposure limit from 10ppm to an 8h TWA of 1ppm and a short-term exposure limit of 5ppm. The effective date of the standard is 10 Dec. 1987. The risk assessment that led to the standard, including both epidemiologic studies and animal experiments and the reasons for the adoption of this standard, are discussed in detail. Also included: technological, economic and environmental aspects of the new standard, exposure monitoring, respiratory protection, protective clothing, medical surveillance, communication of benzene hazards to employees, recordkeeping, a substance safety data sheet on benzene.


CIS 88-718

Database ID



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