Industry view for the revision of the benzene OEL

In 2017 the Commission launched the process to revise the current EU-wide occupational exposure limit for benzene (1 ppm). Today the EU Commission is looking at the feasibility of several possible scenarios for setting a new OEL. Results are expected by April 2019. Considering the advice of the tri-partite advisory body, Commission is expected to present a legislative proposal in 2020. To inform the ongoing review process, industry has done several assessments looking at health risks and feasibility.

As an outcome of these assessments, Industry suggest taking a stepwise approach in revising the current OEL:

  • Short term (< 3 years): implement an EU-wide OEL of 0.5 ppm;
  • Medium term (5-7 years): implement an EU-wide OEL of 0.25 ppm.

Such an approach ensures that workers' health is adequately protected at the same time keeping it workable for industry to implement the necessary measures.