Employees sometimes come into contact with hazardous substances at work. RIVM has compiled a list of 1,400 hazardous substances for which the European Commission has not yet set an occupational exposure limit. European occupational exposure limits ensure employee safety and uniform regulations. Member States are required to implement these occupational exposure limits. Based on this list, RIVM will advise the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment regarding the substances for which it is advisable to set European limit values.
Occupational exposure limit in at least one Member State
For each substance on the list, an occupational exposure limit has been set in at least one Member State, but no European occupational exposure limit has been set. The overview was created based on data from 10 Member States, including the Netherlands.
European occupational exposure limits are important for safety and uniformity
European occupational exposure limits contribute to employee health and safety and to harmonised regulations. All Member States must adopt the European occupational exposure limits in their legislation. This ensures that employers in all European Union countries must comply with the same standard for a particular substance.
From national to European occupational exposure limits
To establish a European occupational exposure limit, the European Commission can use information from national risk assessments. This makes it easier to determine a European occupational exposure limit.
Employers ultimately remain responsible
Employees must be able to work safely and healthily with hazardous substances. Therefore, the maximum amount of a substance that is allowed in the air at the workplace must be determined. Employers are responsible for setting these occupational exposure limits. National or European occupational exposure limits are only set for the most hazardous substances, such as carcinogenic substances.
Follow-up study on sequence
This list was compiled on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. Based on this list, RIVM will conduct a follow-up study to advise the Ministry regarding the substances for which it is advisable and simple to also set European occupational exposure limits.