Research Group Linda Schenk
Our research concerns identification, assessment and management of hazardous substances in the workplace.
Exposure limit setting for the work environment
Today occupational exposure limits (OELs) are derived on a national level in many countries and also on the EU-level. There are also exposure limits under other legislations that may affect workers’ protection. An example is the Derived No Effect Levels (DNELs) which manufacturers and importers of chemicals substances shall derive under the EU chemicals legislation REACH. In our research we scrutinize OELs and other exposure limits from a toxicological perspective and investigate the methodology for deriving these, such as the use of, and underlying assumptions of, assessment factors to cover uncertainties in the available data. The major aim is to contribute to transparency and consistency in the derivation of exposure limits. The research is funded by AFA Insurance and FORTE (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare).
Use and understanding of exposure guidance values at the workplace
Exposure guidance values such as occupational exposure limits (OEL) derived under the work environment legislation and the Derived No Effect Levels (DNELs) derived under are among of the available regulatory measures used to assist local workplace risk assessment and ensure that the risk to hazardous substances are sufficiently managed. But also other regulatory requirements are very important for the overall worker protection. Little is known about how OELs and DNELs are understood in relation to each other or other regulatory requirements for chemical exposures at work and how they are implemented at the workplace. Through investigating the awareness and understanding of exposure guidance values and other chemical risk regulations at the workplace we aim to contribute to improved communication about regulatory requirements on the safe use of chemical substances in the workplace. The research is funded by AFA Insurance and FORTE (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare).
Cleaning agents as a chemical risk in the workplace
Cleaning agents are a widely used product group and they are a common cause of serious chemical accidents. Understanding the types of products and professional uses that lead to injuries and illness makes up an important step towards prevention. It is also of great importance that correct information about risks and safe use is communicated from manufacturers to users. In this project, we will investigate the role cleaning agents in work-related injuries and diseases in Sweden and examine how well classification, labelling and safety data sheets convey information about the products' risks and safe use. The project is carried out in four parts: (1) Mapping of the incidence of accidents, occupational injuries and illness through analysis of available registers and a literature review for an international comparison. (2) Review of notified detergent products and contents on the Swedish market. (3) Review of product labelling and safety data sheet information on hazards and safe use. (4) Quantification of exposure during prescribed use. The purpose is to shed light on the role of detergents in occupational injuries and illness in Sweden, and to evaluate the information in the safety data sheets.
- AFA Insurance