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 35 lists from 29 countries: various European states, Australia, Canada (Ontario and Québec), Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, The People's Republic of China, Turkey, and the United States. Limit values of 2,332 substances are listed.

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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:

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  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Finland
  • Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), Great Britain
  • Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité (INRS), France
  • Institut de recherche Robert Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), Canada, Quebec
  • Institute for Applied Environmental Research, Air Pollution Laboratory (ITM), Sweden
  • Instituto Nacional de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo (INSST), Spain
  • Japan Society for Occupational Health (JSOH), Japan
  • Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), South Korea
  • Ministerul Muncii și Justiției Sociale, Romania
  • Ministry of Labor, Safety and Health Administration, Israel
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, Netherlands
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA
  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (JNIOSH), Japan
  • Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM), Poland
  • Nemzeti Munkaügyi Hivatal (NFSZ), Hungary
  • suva, Switzerland
  • safe work australia, Australia
  • Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area (DFG), Germany
  • University of Padova, Dept. of Cardiac, Thoracic, Vascular Sciences and Public Health, Italy
  • Workplace Safety and Health Institute (WSH), Singapore
  • Worksafe, New Zealand

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. When the limit value list of a country was last updated is documented in a tabular overview.

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Information about this database

Latest update of the database: June 2023


Further international limit values

Argentina (Spanish)

Brazil (Portugese)

Canada - Alberta (English;
OHS Code, see Table 2, p. S1-2ff.)
Canada - British Columbia (English)

Czech Republic (Czech)

Estonia (Estonian; go to link "Lisa")

India (English,
Homepage of the provider)

Lithuania (Lithuanian)

Norway (Norwegian)

Portugal (Portuguese; update and cancerogenic and mutagenic substances)

Slovakia (Slovak; cancerogenic and mutagenic substances)

South Africa (Regulation 1179, English)


Birgit Heinrich

Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 30 13001-3250
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001

Ronja Schustkowski

Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 30 13001-3265
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001

Katrin Pitzke

Chemical and biological hazards

Tel: +49 30 13001-3200
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001