Bacteria and mould fungus species in cooling lubricants

Project No. BIA 7010


completed 08/2001


Data already gathered under the BGMG hazardous measurement system were evaluated retrospectively with the objective of drafting an explanatory annex to BG publication BGI 762 concerning the microbial load of water-miscible cooling lubricants. The purpose of this annex is to explain the provisions set out in this BGI concerning hazard assessment under the German Ordinance on Biological Agents (BiostoffV) and classification in protection levels.


The project involved evaluation of the results of 33 relevant study briefs which had been passed by six BGs between 1997 and 2000 to the microbiological laboratory of the BG Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for execution within the BGMG hazardous substances measurement system.

Both the total colony count of bacteria and moulds were recorded, and a list produced of the bacteria and moulds species identified and of their assignment to Risk Groups under the yellow Codes of Practice of the BG Chemie (BGI 633 concerning safe biotechnology; grouping of biological agents: bacteria, and BGI 634 concerning safe biotechnology; grouping of biological agents: moulds).


Microorganisms which colonize water-miscible cooling lubricants are primarily common bacteria of Risk Groups 1 and 2. Evaluation of existing study results permitted identification of the relative incidence of RG 2 bacteria. Since contact with microbially contaminated cooling lubricants gives rise to a risk of both dermal contact and respiratory intake, a potential risk of infection must be assumed. For this reason, the relevant activities are classified in Protection Class 2 under the German Ordinance on Biological Agents (BiostoffV, the regulation transposing the European Directive on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work). Protective measures in the form of the general hygiene measures under the technical rules for biological agents, TRBA 500: general hygiene measures: minimum requirements, and the protective/hygiene measures of the BiostoffV 10,11 are to be observed in consideration of the local situation. This objective of protection is attained when, for example, the general measures for safe contact with cooling lubricants as specified in BG Rule (BGR) 143 governing contact with cooling lubricants and the recommendations of BGI 762 for reduction of the microbial count are observed.


BGI 762: Keimbelastung wassergemischter Kühlschmierstoffe - Handlungshilfe nach Biostoffverordnung. Hrsg.: Fachausschuss Eisen und Metall II, Mainz 2001

Kühlschmierstoffe. Handlungshilfe für den Unternehmer beim Einsatz von Kühlschmierstoffen. Bestell-Nr. info 4-99. Hrsg.: Süddeutsche Metall-Berufsgenossenschaft, Mainz

Aktualisierte Fassung der BG-Information "Keimbelastung wassergemischter Kühlschmierstoffe" BGI 762. SMBG Mitteilungen (2001) Nr. 4, S. 3-5

Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitsschutz - BIA
  • Fachausschuss Eisen und Metall II
  • Süddeutsche Metall-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Maschinenbau- und Metall-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Berufsgenossenschaft der Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik

metal working

Type of hazard:

biological agents


Biologische Arbeitsstoffe, Gefährdungsbeurteilung, Schutzmaßnahme

Description, key words:

total colony counts, bacteria, moulds, number of species of these organism groups, Risk Group classification of the identified organisms, cooling lubricant samples, BGMG hazardous substance measurement system, BGI 762 concerning the microbial load of water-miscible cooling lubricants