ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has recently adopted scientific opinions on occupational exposure to acrylonitrile, benzene, and nickel and its inorganic compounds. The Committee considered genotoxic carcinogenicity to be the critical effect following exposure to benzene; it proposed an occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 0.16 mg/m3, based on a lowest-observed-adverse-effect concentration (LOAEC) of 1 ppm [3.2 mg/m3] for chromosomal damage in workers. For nickel and its compounds, proposed OELs were 0.005 and 0.03 mg/m3 for respirable and inhalable dust, respectively; the derivation of the former utilised a no-observed-adverse-effect concentration (NOAEC) of 0.03 mg Ni/m3 from a chronic rat inhalation study with nickel sulphate (lack of inflammatory effects and lung tumours), while the latter value was calculated based on occupational lung cancer data. The proposed OEL for acrylonitrile was 1 mg/m3; this was derived using a benchmark dose 95% lower confidence limit (BMDL05) of 60 mg/m3, which was obtained by modelling brain tumour incidence data from all available carcinogenicity studies on the compound.

European Chemicals Agency (2018). Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC). Opinions on acrylonitrile, benzene and on nickel and its compounds. Adopted 9 March 2018.


The above items were taken from the May 2018 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra.

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