Understanding CAD and CMD

Occupational exposure limit (OEL) values are derived within two legal frameworks that form an integral part of the EU’s mechanism for protecting the health of workers.

Chemical Agents Directive (CAD)

The Chemical Agents Directive (Directive 8/24/EC) sets out the minimum requirements for the protection of workers from risks to their safety and health arising, or likely to arise, from the effects of chemical agents in the workplace or the use of chemical agents at work. It lays down indicative and binding OELs, as well as biological limit values.

A chemical agent is defined as any chemical substance, on its own or in a mixture, that occurs in its natural state or is produced, used or released (including release as waste) by any work activity. This applies whether or not the substance is produced intentionally or is to be placed on the market. The Directive therefore also covers the evaluation of emissions and process wastes.

Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD)

The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (Directive 2004/37/EC) sets out the minimum requirements for protecting workers against risks to their health and safety arising, or likely to arise, from exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work. It lays down preventive and protective measures, as well as exposure limits.

The Directive applies to a substance or mixture that meets the criteria for classification as a category 1A or 1B carcinogen or category 1A or 1B germ cell mutagen set out in Annex I to the CLP Regulation. In addition, it applies to carcinogenic substance, mixture or process referred to in Annex I to the Directive, as well as a substance or mixture released by a process in that annex.

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