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Industrial Health and Safety: Formaldehyde

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Government has undertaken an impact assessment on the recommendations of the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits to reduce occupational exposure limit values for formaldehyde to 0.2 ppm for 8-hour time weighted average and to 0.4 ppm for short-term exposure limits (up to 15 minutes). (160222)

The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) published its final recommendation on occupational exposure limits for formaldehyde in August 2007. The recommendation is currently being considered by the European Commission (Directorate General Employment and Social Affairs) and in the tripartite Working Party on Chemicals in the Workplace.

It has not yet been agreed whether or not formaldehyde will be included in the annex to a third indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELV) directive or at what level an IOELV for formaldehyde will be set. Once a formal proposal is put forward, the Health and Safety Executive will carry out an impact assessment to estimate the effect on industry of workplace exposure limits set at these levels.