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Chemical exposure data from OSHA

If you’ve got some time on your hands, here’s some potentially interesting info to play with: the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has released 15 years of data detailing workplace exposure to chemicals. From the press release:

The data is comprised of measurements taken by OSHA compliance officers during the course of inspections. It includes exposure levels to hazardous chemicals including asbestos, benzene, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, silica, and others. The data offers insights into the levels of toxic chemicals commonly found in workplaces, as well as insights into how chemical exposure levels to specific chemicals are distributed across industries, geographical areas and time.

Right now the data is available for download as either one very large (unzipped, 1.9 GB) or several smaller XML files, but the agency says it’s also developing “an easy to use online search tool.” (And if you know of a good way to get the data into a more usable form, such as a spreadsheet, please let me know!)

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