EH40 Occupational Exposure Limits

The list of Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/eh40.htm.

Note: Prior to 2005 it had been normal for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to publish a new edition of EH40, or at least an amendment, each year. However with increasing use of the website facilities the HSE no longer always publishes a revised hardcopy edition, or amendment.

In 2006 HSE produced an addendum to the 2005 list, a hard copy of which was posted to all known recipients of the 2005 publication. Those changes have been incorporated into EH40.

In mid 2007 further amendments to some values were agreed, and these have been incorporated into Table 1 of EH40 and should have been sent to all prior purchasers.  These amended entries came into force on 1 October 2007.  

A consolidated update was published in October 2007.

The hard copy edition of EH40 which was published in 2005 (EH40/2005) unfortunately resulted in the loss of some very useful information.

The data lost from the 2005 edition of EH40 can be summarised as follows:

  1. the column in which the references to European Community Workplace Exposure Limits (IOELVs and ILVs) were annotated;
  2. the CAS number index.

The first gives problems for SDS writers as now reference will need to be made to the official European lists in order to determine whether an ingredient within a product needs to be listed in Section 2 of the SDS for the reason of having a Community workplace exposure limit. Remember it is only the EC-set values that are relevant here, not the local country lists.

EH40 was then updated and republished in 2011 and took into account the new substances and workplace exposure limits (WELs) introduced in 2007 and 2011.

Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Value (Community Workplace Exposure Limits) - IOELV and & Indicative Limit Value - ILV tables

The EU have published four lists of IOELV values, the fourth of which changed 5 previous values and added 26 new substances.

So, as a service to those writing SDSs, CHCS is making available the following documents as PDF files.

The first of these files is provided courtesy of Stuart Longworth (Sankey Safety Consultants) and is only available in the Members Area, whilst the latter file was provided courtesy of HSE.

Details of the Community Exposure Limits can be found in the following Directives:

ILVs

- Commission Directive 91/322/EEC of 29 May 1991

- Official Journal L 177, 05/07/1991, pages 22 – 24

IOELVs 1

- Commission Directive 2000/39/EC of 8 June 2000

- Official Journal L 142, 16/06/2000, pages 47 – 50

IOELVs 2

- Commission Directive 2006/15/EC of 7 February 2006

- Official Journal L 38, 09/02/2006, pages 36 – 39

IOELVs 3

- Commission Directive 2009/161/EU of 17 December 2009

- Official Journal L 338, 19/12/2009, pages 87 – 89

IOELVs 4

- Commission Directive (EU) 2017/164 of 1 February 2017

- Official Journal L 27, 01/02/2017, pages 115 - 120

The Official Journal Website address is:

From there you can either get direct access to the current issues by clicking on “Official Journal” or carry out a search on earlier issues by clicking on “Simple Search”.


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