Limit value for wood dust

Project No. BGIA 1078


completed 12/2005


The European Union Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) has recommended an annual mean limit value for wood dust of 0.5 mg/m³. In practice, the actual wood dust exposure is measured as a mean shift value. In consideration of the EU limit value, the point at which the limit is actually exceeded was now to be established. The limit value relates to working-life exposure, i.e. a maximum excursion factor was to be derived for a shift measurement. Only with the aid of an excursion factor for the long-time limit value can the shift limit value be determined realistically.


The excursion factors for the arithmetic and geometric mean value for wood dust were calculated, with reference to measured values from the woodworking sector as examples. Should a value, when multiplied by the excursion factor, deviate significantly from the EU long-time value, it is considered to be exceeded.


During assessment of the potential health risk caused by wood dust exposure, the purpose of the conversion factor is to give realistic consideration to the exposure and thus to permit more effective prevention.

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BGIA
  • Holz-Berufsgenossenschaft

wood working industry

Type of hazard:

Gefahrstoffe, -Verschiedenes-


Grenzwert, Exposition, Prävention

Description, key words:

epidemiology, wood dust, limit value, mean value, measured value distribution, duration of measurement, exposure, measurement strategy, monitoring