Airborne Contaminants

Chapter 296-841, WAC

Effective Date: 04/01/07

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WAC 296-841-100


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This chapter applies when your employees are , or could be, exposed to an airborne hazard.

  • The following are examples of airborne contaminants that may become airborne hazards in some workplaces.
    • - Chemicals listed in Table 3, Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for Airborne Contaminants
    • - Any substance
        • Listed in the latest edition of the NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
        • For which positive evidence of an acute or chronic health hazard exists through tests conducted by, or known to, the employer
        • That may pose a hazard to human health as stated on a material safety data sheet (MSDS) kept by, or known to, the employer
    • - Biological agents such as harmful bacteria, viruses or fungi
        • Examples include TB aerosols and anthrax
    • - Pesticides
    • - Chemicals used as crowd control agents, such as pepper spray
    • - Chemicals present at clandestine drug labs
  • Airborne contaminants exist in a variety of physical forms such as dusts, fibers, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, sprays, vapors, or aerosols.



    Exposed or exposure: The contact an employee has with a toxic substance, harmful physical agent or oxygen deficient condition, whether or not protection is provided by respirators or other personal protective equipment (PPE). Exposure can occur through various routes of entry, such as inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or skin absorption.


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