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7 February 2019

Limit values for chemical substances: the ECHA replaces the SCOEL

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has now been tasked with recommending Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) for the protection of workers against hazardous chemical substances. The cooperation agreement was signed on 21 January 2019 between the Helsinki-based agency and the European Commission. The ECHA's Risk Assessment Committee will thus replace the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) responsible since 1995 for proposing European-level OELs in the context of the Chemical Agents Directive and the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive.

Under the terms of the agreement, the ECHA is to provide 4 - 5 limit values a year. According to the information available to us, the first tasks entrusted to the ECHA in this context will involve updating the existing European OELs for asbestos and lead derivatives, as well as issuing a recommendation for an OEL for cobalt derivatives.


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