Exposure Limits: The European Union (EU)

Within the EU, legislation is currently being developed with respect to workplace monitoring. Two directives exist (81/1107/EEC and 88/642/EEC) that are relevant to monitoring in general, and a third is in preparation. To date, there is no occupational exposure limit for nickel legislated within the EU, but the subject is currently under review.

A “directive” is an official rule adopted by the Council or the Commission under the authority of the Treaties of Rome, Paris or, most recently, Maastricht. A directive is made to member countries mandating them to introduce the rule into their own legislation within a certain period of time. Some directives have to be introduced unchanged, e.g., those that are designed to prevent unfair barriers to trade. Others may be changed to allow a member country to introduce a stricter law, if it so wishes, but a country cannot mandate legislation that is less stringent than the position taken in the directive. Exposure limit and worker protection legislation comes under this latter category. Until the EU has issued a directive on any particular subject, the national rules apply.

  1. Exposure Limits: United Kingdom (U.K.)
  2. Exposure Limits: Germany