European Chemicals Agency Proposes OELs for Cadmium
A new scientific report (PDF) published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) makes new recommendations concerning occupational exposure limits for cadmium and its inorganic compounds. The agency recommends the current OEL of 0.001 mg/m3 (inhalable fraction) as an eight-hour time-weighted average together with a biological limit value, or BLV, of 0.002 mg/g creatinine for cadmium in urine. The report explains that the concentration of cadmium in urine reflects long-term exposure better than blood concentrations, which indicate recent exposure. Applying the OEL and proposed BLV together is intended to consider total body burden. “The current OEL does not take into consideration previous (high) exposure to cadmium or indirect exposure via other routes than inhalation,” the report says. “A BLV is considered important for the protection of workers, in order to ensure that the accumulation of cadmium in the body does not become too high.” The agency will accept public comments through November 12. For more information, visit ECHA's website.