31 October 2017
Apologies for the short deadline, but HSE have asked us to alert members to the fact that the European Commission has asked the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to consider possible new occupational exposure limits for benzene and acrylonitrile. ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) has now launched a public consultation on the proposals and the deadline for comments for benzene is the 7th November and for acrylonitrile is 10th November.
The assessment documents and comments form can be found at https://echa.europa.eu/echas-executive-director-requests-to-the-committees .
The current UK 8h TWA Workplace Exposure Limits are 1 ppm / 3.25 mg/m3 for benzene and 2 ppm / 4.4 mg/m3 for acrylonitrile. It appears that the proposals, if ultimately implemented, would reduce these significantly. In addition, the possibility of introducing Short-Term Exposure Limits and/or Biological Limit Values/Biological Guidance Values is discussed. You may wish to comment on any likely impact on your company or industry.
If it is possible for you to forward to HSE a paper or electronic copy of any comments that you have submitted to ECHA, they would be pleased to receive them. The final RAC opinion will be published on ECHA’s website by 26 March 2018.
Written by: HSE