Since the mid-1900s, occupational exposure limits (OELs) have been used to limit worker exposure to airborne chemicals in order to protect health. These values continue to be set at a European and member state level. Meanwhile, the 2006 REACH regulation introduced a requirement for derived no-effect levels (DNELs) to be established for occupational (and non-occupational) exposure to chemicals produced or imported into Europe in annual quantities above 10 tonnes. Worker-DNELs derived using the REACH guidance and indicative OEL values (IOELVs) recommended by the Scientific Committee on OELs (SCOEL) both represent occupational health-based guidance values, but have been seen to vary widely in a recent report, with the REACH safety margins generally six-fold higher. In a discussion of this discrepancy, both approaches were seen to have strengths and limitations, with neither implied to be more accurate.

Schenk L. and Johanson G. Toxicological Sciences 2011, 121, 408.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfr056

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The above item was taken from the December 2011 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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