4,4′,04k 04.40011K4404Y.7014, Campaign Fund, P.O. Box 1278 Austin, Texas 78711 Bob Bullock Campaign Manager THE BEST Sooltsrottss VHST 3 ST0105 1K Mug!. 4535 McKinney Ave. 5219 West Lovers Lane 206 South Zang c o r o uhssiarsrot AVE. W Happiness Is Printing By? Newspapers Magazines Political Specialists Signs and Placards Bumperstrips Office Supplies 100% Union Shop FUTURA PRESS ..c Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS lam 14 The Texas Observer I. F. Stone’s Weekly Information and bookings: The I. F. Stone Project, P.O. Box 315, Franklin Lakes, N.I. 07417 Tel: 201 891-8240 Among them was Dr. Irving J. Selikoff, a professor of community medicine and occupational health crusader. \(In a series of backhand compliments, Fortune called him a “one-man power elite” in the field because of his contacts with government As more reports of deaths reached the researchers and the press NIOSH began a crash program to establish emergency standards, and in April it announced the 50-ppm rule. The proposed “no detectable concentration” standard followed, and was in turn followed by hearings of the subject. THE TESTIMONY at this summer’s OSHA hearings ran to 12 or 14 volumes worth of transcript, but one conceptual difference remained constant. Industry spokesmen consistently argued that OSHA should set the standard at a level which has not yet been proven to be unsafe. Representatives of labor and NIOSH researchers insisted that the standards be low enough to be safe for sure and insisted that the only safe level was one at which vinyl chloride could no longer be detected. Firestone, for example, recommended a ceiling level of 40 ppm because it knew it could achieve that level and because its research indicated that level was not unsafe, Non-industry researchers contended that no carcinogen has a “threshold’ s level that the best poSsible result of even minimum exposure is, in the words of NIOSH, that “the latency period might be extended beyond the life expectancy.” In the end, OSHA decided not to use the “no-detectable” level, in part because variations in measurement could make it impracticably vague. \(One source told the Observer that 1 ppm is “pretty close to the level at which everybody agrees that, if there’s that much there, you know you’ll . Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 459-6577 -t has been uniformly negative. Firestone and the industry’s trade association, the Society of the Plastics Industry, have filed suits to challenge the standards, and more suits are expected. All but one of the Texas companies have so far declined to comment; the president of Tenneco Chemicals has said the standards cannot be met. One engineer for a Texas company, who has reluctant to be quoted because “I just don’t know what will happen,” was nevertheless .sure that the engineering changes required would be “serious.” A Firestone representative has said the regulations put the entire industry “on a collision course with economic disaster” and would “throw two million jobs down the drain.” \(The two million jobs include those in plants which manufacture finished plastic products; , during the OSHA hearings, industry representatives predicted that PVC plants might have to quit producing the material entirely if standards were set too low. NIOSH and AFL-CIO spokesmen disagreed, contending that “housecleaning” measures would go a long The danger to the general public is another question entirely. So far, only two cases of vinyl-chloride-related angiosarcoma in people who are not vinyl chloride workers have been reported both in Connecticut, both in people who lived near vinyl chloride plants. Geography alone is not conclusive proof that the gas is a hazard to the population, even in a large metropolitan area with several plants. But the Connecticut deaths have caused concern at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Air Control Board. In June, a federal health specialist surveyed Texas cancer death records and found no apparent connection between angiosarcoma deaths and vinyl chloride. At about the same time, air samples taken in Houston showed no concentrations higher than .063 ppm in property-line samples. And Roger Wallis, who heads up the TACB’s Air Quality Evaluation Division, told the Observer that he has seen “no indication that, in Texas, concentration in the ambient air is of concern.” Nonetheless, the TACB is keeping in I. touch with EPA, which is in the process of developing emission standards. The feds will probably set a level somewhat lower than 1 ppm if they accept the “no threshold” reasoning of OSHA’s standards. \(In-plant levels are set to protect healthy workers over an eight-hour exposure period. Regulations designed to safeguard the general public must consider the health of “susceptible” people children, elderly people, those with a history of relevant diseases who are exposed to the for operating permits for three new PVC plants in Houston are expected to receive close scrutiny. J.F. krvalt..,,4.10.44,444
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