Latest update: 12/03/2020

Directive 2017/164/EU - indicative occupational exposure limit values

of 31 January 2017 establishing a fourth list of indicative occupational exposure limit values pursuant to Council Directive 98/24/EC, and amending Commission Directives 91/322/EEC, 2000/39/EC and 2009/161/EU (Text with EEA relevance)

The list is based on Council Directive 98/24/EC concerning the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents in the workplace.

Indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELV) are health-based, non-binding values, derived from the most recent scientific data available and taking into account the availability of reliable measurement techniques.

For any chemical agent for which an IOELV has been set at Union level, Member States are required to establish a national occupational exposure limit value. They also are required to take into account the Union limit value, determining the nature of the national limit value in accordance with national legislation and practice.

Regarding the limit values for nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, Member States will be able to benefit from a transitional period ending at the latest on 21 August 2023.

IOELVs are established in relation to a reference period of 8 hours (considering a time-weighted average) and  referred to as long-term exposure limit values, and, for certain chemical agents, these relate to shorter reference periods, in general 15 minutes (also time-weighted averages), referred to as short-term exposure limit values, to take account of the effects arising from short-term exposure.

The Directive establishes limit values for the following chemical agents:

Manganese and inorganic manganese compounds (as manganese)
Glycerol trinitrate
Carbon tetrachloride; Tetrachloromethane
Acetic acid
Hydrogen cyanide (as cyanide)
Methylene chloride; Dichloromethane
Vinylidene chloride; 1,1-Dichloroethylene
Tetraethyl orthosilicate
Acrylic acid; Prop-2-enoic acid
Bisphenol A; 4,4′-Isopropylidenediphenol
Diphenyl ether
1,4-Dichlorobenzene; p-Dichlorobenzene
Acrolein; Acrylaldehyde; Prop-2-enal
Methyl formate
Ethyl acetate
Sodium cyanide (as cyanide)
Potassium cyanide (as cyanide)
Diacetyl; Butanedione
Carbon monoxide
Calcium dihydroxide
Calcium oxide
Sulphur dioxide
Lithium hydride
Nitrogen monoxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Terphenyl, hydrogenated

Skin absorption feature of ten substances is noted.

Of the 33 substances above, 4 were already listed in the Annex to Commission Directive 91/322/EEC, one was listed in the Annex to Commission Directive 2000/39/EC and one in the Annex to Commission Directive 2009/161/EU. The establishment of new indicative limit values was recommended by SCOEL for the above six substances listed in the Annex to this Directive and are deleted from the Annexes to the previous directives.

Read the full text of the Directive

National laws implementing this Directive

There are further lists on indicative occupational exposure limit values:

Further information on this topic