The U.S. Department of Labor today issued this proposed rule that would change the methods the government uses to measure workplace exposures to toxic substances and hazardous chemicals.

Under the proposed rule, the DOL will require that before agencies can issue rulemaking dealing with health issues, they first must solicit input on studies, scientific information, and data on frequency, intensity, and duration of worker exposure.  Rulemaking agencies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration, will be required to publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting public information when developing risk assessments for health standards regulating occupational exposure to toxins and chemicals. 

The proposed rule is already under attack by congressional Democrats, who describe the rule as a "secret regulation" that could have "a profound negative impact on the health and safety of American workers."  The DOL will accept public comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking until Sept. 28.