Conversion factors for hazardous substances - calculation of conversion factors for gases, vapours, mists

Project No. BIA 3047


completed 12/1995


Prior to 1990, different methods were employed in the Federal Republic of Germany and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) for the measurement of exposure to hazardous substances. The different methods employed could potentially lead to differences in results. Any assessment of measurement results must take this possibility into account. By financing research, the Federation of Institutions for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention (HVBG) has provided a means by which the comprehensive data resources and expertise on occupational health and safety and accident patterns in the former GDR can be collected. This involves not only the identification and archiving of data, but also its exploitation for retrospective analyses, for example in the procedure for official recognition of an occupational disease.


The essential information relating to measurement methods for gases, vapours, mists and dusts was collected, in order for any differences to be ascertained between hazardous substance measurement and analytical assessment in accordance with standard methods in the GDR and the currently applicable standard methods, and conversion factors were to be indicated where relevant.


The essential information relating to measurement methods for gases, vapours, mists and dusts (with the exception of mineral dusts and asbestos, fine dust and total dust) was collected and compared with the standard measurement methods. Different conversion factors were calculated for certain measurement procedures. The conversion factors are to be applied to the measurement results obtained in the GDR prior to 1990. The comparability with the standard measurement methods was assessed for certain sub-procedures of the sampling and analysis methods. This essentially concerns the sampling strategy, sampling, sample transport, and preparation of samples. Over substantial areas, comparability was established or conversion factors could be specified. The results of the project enable existing measurement results obtained in the GDR to be exploited for the administrative processing of occupational diseases.

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Arbeitssicherheit und Umweltschutz
  • Betriebsorganisation und Arbeitsstudium e. V. (AUBA)
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

work-related health hazards


measuring methods

Description, key words:

method of measurement, gases, vapours, mists, exposure, conversion factors