maandag 18 augustus 2014

When experts don't agree....

Nowadays in Europe OEL's for occupational exposure to genotoxic carcinogens are derived at a certain accepted risk level. That is how it is done in NL and also in Germany. In both countries the accepted risk level is 10EXP-6 per year = risk 4:100000 lifetime exposure. The (temperarily) tolerable risk level is 100 times higher.

However, recent published proposals of the Germany and of  NL show that German experts regard benzene as more toxic that NL Experts as can be seen from the proposed OEL's.

German Experts: Acceptable concentration associated with the risk 4:100000 = 0,2 mg/m3 , tolerable concentration associated with the risk 4:1000 = 1.9 mg/m3 ( TRGS 910: Risikobezogenes Maßnahmenkonzept für Tätigkeiten mit krebserzeugenden Gefahrstoffen. 2014).

The NL Committee of experts has concluded that benzene acts by a non-stochastic genotoxic mechanism. The Committee, therefore, decided to apply a threshold approach.recommends a health-based occupational exposure limit for benzene of 0.7 mg/m3  (Benzene. Health-based recommended occupational exposure limit.Dutch Expert Committee on Occupational Safety, a Committee of the Health Council of the Netherlands No. 2014/03, The Hague, February 21, 2014).

Buzzeling confusion. When leading experts don't agree, what should a simple consultant recommend?

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