Occupational Exposure Limits

・Recommendation of Occupational Exposure Limits

The Japan Society for Occupational Health(JSOH) recommends the Occupational Exposure Limits(OELs) as reference values for preventing adverse health effects on workers caused by occupational exposure to chemical substances, continuous or intermittent noise, impulsive or impact noise, heat stress, cold stress, whole-body vibration, hand-arm vibration and time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields and ultraviolet and ionizing radiation.

Characteristics of OELs and Instructions for Users

  1. OELs should be applied by individuals well-trained and experienced in occupational health.
  2. OELs cannot be applied in cases where exposure duration or work intensity exceeds the prerequisite conditions for setting an OEL.
  3. OELs are set based on various information obtained from experiences in industries and experiments on humans and animals. However, the quantity and quality of information used in setting OELs is not always the same.
  4. Types of health effects considered in setting OELs depend on the substances involved; an explicit health impairment provides the basis for OELs in certain substances, while health effects such as discomfort, irritation or CNS suppressive effects afford the basis in others. Thus, OELs cannot be used simply as a relative scale of toxicity.
  5. Due to the variance in individual susceptibilities, discomfort, deterioration of pre-existing ill health or occupational disease may be induced at levels of exposure below the OELs, even though the chances of this should be remote.
  6. Because OELs do not represent a definitive borderline between safe and hazardous conditions, it is not correct to conclude that working environments above OEL are the direct and sole cause of health impairment in workers, or vice versa.
  7. OELs cannot be applied as reference values in non-occupational environments.
  8. OELs will be revised when JSOH considers it necessary.
  9. JSOH welcomes the submission, by concerned parties or individuals, of opinions based on scientific aspects of OELs.
  10. In the reproduction of any Tables and / or Figures of OELs, JSOH requires that the full text of OELs be quoted to prevent misunderstanding and misuse.
  1. Occupational Exposure Limits
  2. OELs Based on Biological Monitoring
  3. Occupational Carcinogens
  4. Occupational Sensitizers
  5. Reproductive Toxicants
  6. Noise
  7. Heat Stress
  8. Cold Stress
  9. Whole Body Vibration
  10. Hand-Arm Vibration
  11. Electric, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Fields
  12. Ultraviolet Radiation
OEL Documentations