At the end of July, representatives of the German Research Foundation presented the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs with a new list of Threshold Limit Values (TLV) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEI). Although the entries in the list are not legally binding, they do provide lawmakers with an important factual foundation.
A comparison of the two lists shows that the new list contains 65 changed and new entries. The complete list can be downloaded under http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9783527682010
What changed? The classification of methylene dichloride, for example. The commission set a new TLV at 50 ml/m³. As long as the maximum TLV lies below this value, no danger of neurotoxicity exists, and the risk of cancer does not increase. Nevertheless, pregnant women should not be exposed to the substance. Methylene dichloride is used as a solvent and as a substitute for ozone-depleting coolants in refrigerators.
Tetrafluoropropene was given a TLV for the first time. It is used in air conditioning systems in automobiles.
The TLV for diacetyl is also new. It is used as an aroma in food products, but is suspected of significantly damaging lungs. American scientists estimate that diacetyl is used in the manufacture of about 6,000 common products – including microwave popcorn.
The legal effects of the TVL and BEI are still an open question. We at KFT will keep you up to date. Please contact us at any time with any questions.