Occupational Exposure Limits

​An occupational exposure limit is an upper limit on the acceptable concentration of a hazardous substance in workplace air for a particular material or class of materials. It is typically set by competent national authorities and enforced by legislation to protect occupational safety and health. It is an important tool in risk assessment and in the management of activities involving handling of dangerous substances. There are many dangerous substances for which there are no formal occupational exposure limits. In these cases, hazard banding or control banding strategies can be used to ensure safe handling.

Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) have been established for airborne workplace chemicals by multiple regulatory and authoritative organizations around the world for well over 60 years now. With the changing regulatory arena, shifting centers of manufacturing growth, and the move towards a more global view on occupational hygiene issues, it is important for the Occupational Hygiene profession to understand the current and growing issues impacting the continued viability of OEL’s in our professional practice.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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