GESTIS - International limit values for chemical agents (Occupational exposure limits, OELs)

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This database contains a collection of occupational limit values for hazardous substances gathered from 29 countries: various EU member states, Australia, Canada (Ontario and Québec), Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, The People's Republic of China, Turkey, and the United States. Limit values of almost 2,050 substances are listed.

The chemical names of the substances were adopted from the nomenclature as used in the original sources for national limit values. Thus, for retrieval of substances, the use of CAS numbers is strongly recommended. For synonyms of the chemical names given, please refer to e. g. GESTIS substance database.

The present database was elaborated in co-operation with experts from:

Limit values defined by the various expert bodies and authorities differ in the criteria for their derivation, the level of protection which they offer, and their legal relevance. The short-time values and dust fractions may for example be based upon different definitions. Comprehensive explanations can be found in the original lists of limit values, which should be referred to as primary sources. The purpose of this database is merely to provide an overview of the limit values in various countries.

For limit values given in brackets, in bold or italic letters, please note the remarks.

Usage and Disclaimer of the database

The database may be made use of in occupational safety and health or in order to retrieve information about potential hazards of substances during use. Commercial use of data as well as partial or complete transfer of data into other information systems is prohibited unless to written prior consent by DGUV.

Data contained in the database have been produced and are maintained applying a maximum of care. Nevertheless, DGUV cannot for whatever reason be made liable for any damage.

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Additional information


Latest update of the database: June 2016.

Further international OELs

Argentina (Spanish, Homepage of the provider)

Brazil (Portugese)

Alberta (PDF, 2,6 MB) (English; see Table 2, p. S1-2ff.)
British Columbia (English)

Czech Republic (PDF, 77 KB) (Czech)

Estonia (Estonian)

India (English, Homepage of the provider)

Japan (PDF, 775 KB) (English, Homepage of the provider)

Latvia (1. pielikums, Latvian)

Lithuania (DOC, 1,9 MB) (Lithuanian)

Norway (Norwegian)

Portugal (PDF, 248 KB) (Portuguese)

Slovakia (PDF, 130 KB) (Slovak; cancerogenic (PDF, 209 KB) and mutagenic substances with updates (PDF, 45 KB))

South Africa (English)


Prof Dr Dietmar Breuer

Division 2: Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 2241 231-2533
Fax: +49 2241 231-2234

Birgit Heinrich

Division 2: Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 2241 231-2844
Fax: +49 2241 231-2234