Dutch Health Council proposes exposure limits for arsenic

6 May 2013

In an article published in December 2012, the Dutch Health Council describes and underpins levels of air concentrations arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds associated with an additional risk of death from cancer of 4 per 1.000 (28 µg arsenic/m3) and 4 per 100.000 (0,28 µg arsenic/m3) by occupational exposure.

Inhalation is the main route of occupational exposure, with the development of lung cancer as critical effect. Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds are used amongst others as a desiccant for cotton, medication for humans and animals, in semi -conductors, and in the production of paint, glass, and non-ferrous alloys.

A legal exposure limit currently doesn’t exist. The ACGIH uses a value of 0,01 mg As/m3 (averaged ofver an eight hour working day; 8-hour TWA) as a standard. For exposure to water-soluble inorganic arsenic compounds and a combination of all inorganic compounds Dutch legal limits do exist (0,025 mg As/m3 and 0,05 mg As/m3 8-hour TWA).


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