Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Health and safety at work - Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits

The Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) was set up in 1995 by the Commission to evaluate the potential health effects of occupational exposure to chemicals. Its functioning was aligned with the Commission´s rules on experts groups by the Commission Decision 2014/113/EU of the 3rd of March 2014.

The Committee was composed of 21 highly qualified, specialized, independent experts selected on the basis of objective criteria, to ensure that the Commission's proposals, decisions and policy relating to the protection of workers’ health and safety from chemical agents at work were based on sound scientific evidence.

From 1995 to 2018, the Committee assisted the Commission, in particular, in evaluating the latest available scientific data and in providing recommendations or opinions on any matter relating to the toxicological evaluation of chemicals for their effects on the health of workers. This procedure included stakeholder consultation to allow interested parties to submit comments and/or further data.

The health-based scientific recommendations were used to underpin the regulatory initiatives on occupational exposure limit values for the protection of workers from chemical risks, to be set at Union level pursuant to the Chemical Agents Directive (Directive 98/24/EC) and to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (Directive 2004/37/EC).

From 2019, the scientific evaluation of the relationship between the health effects of hazardous chemical agents and the level of occupational exposure is conducted by the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Activities and documents

For access to the official SCOEL documents see the SCOEL document library (accessible with an EU Login account).

Click on the links below to access specific documents directly:

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