OELs are regulatory values set at EU and national level that establish safe concentration levels for chemical substances in the air of a workplace. Recently assessed substances include asbestos, cadmium and lead.
OELs help employers to protect their workers from possible risks when using chemicals at work and ensure that workers are not exposed to unsafe levels of hazardous chemicals.
ECHA and its Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) give advice when priority chemicals are assessed. This supports the work of the European Commission to adopt new or revised OELs and improves the way the chemicals regulation REACH and occupational health and safety legislation are applied.
The Agency has finalised scientific opinions on asbestos, cadmium and its inorganic compounds, diisocyanates, and lead and its compounds. These have been sent to the European Commission to be elaborated further and for a final decision.
ECHA is currently assessing 1,4-dioxane, isoprene, cobalt, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and welding fumes. Stakeholders are invited to submit data and comments in calls for evidence that are launched at the start of the assessment process. This input will be taken into account when the scientific opinion is developed.
Knowing which EU chemicals laws apply to your chemicals
The EU Chemicals Legislation Finder (EUCLEF) is an easy-to-use, online service where you can search for information on how your chemicals are regulated across the EU. It gives you access to an up-to-date overview of EU chemicals legislation in one place, and is free for anyone to use.
You can search for a chemical to find out how it is regulated under different pieces of legislation and what obligations you may have. EUCLEF also provides an overview of different aspects related to the pieces of legislation including their scope, exemptions, lists of impacted substances, and links to full legal texts in all EU languages.
EUCLEF currently covers 56 pieces of EU legislation, encompassing a wide range of areas such as occupational exposure limits, pesticides, water standards, industrial emissions and waste, EU ecolabel, food contact materials, worker safety, toys, and cosmetics.
If you need help to clarify your obligations or you have a question about the different pieces of legislation covered by EUCLEF, you can contact our dedicated regulatory advice service. It is free and can help you to make informed business decisions.
Read more about OELs: https://echa.europa.eu/oel
Contribute to calls for evidence: https://echa.europa.eu/fi/oels-cce-current-consultation