August 12, 2021

European Chemicals Agency Seeks Evidence Regarding Monitoring Approaches for PAHs

The European Chemicals Agency seeks data related to monitoring approaches for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). ECHA has been tasked by the European Commission to identify and assess approaches to monitoring exposure to combinations of different PAHs. CDC describes PAHs as a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. According to the agency, people are typically exposed to mixtures of PAHs, and workers in industries or trades using or producing coal or coal products are at the highest risk for PAH exposure.

ECHA will use the information it collects on monitoring different PAHs to recommend the most appropriate approach, including whether an airborne occupational exposure limit for benzo(a)pyrene, one example of a PAH, is a “suitable marker” of overall exposure to PAHs. The agency will also explore whether an OEL should be complemented by other limits, including biological limit values, biological guidance values, or notations.

Following a scoping study to assess the most appropriate approach for monitoring different PAHs, ECHA will move on to recommending an OEL. The agency intends to request further information at that time.

The deadline for providing input to ECHA on monitoring approaches to PAHs is Sept. 3. See the agency’s website for further details about ECHA’s efforts related to PAHs.