SweJEM: Chemicals, particles and metals

A generic quantitative job-exposure matrix (JEM) for chemicals and particles, including information on the probability to be exposed and the level of exposure, for occupations on the Swedish labour market from the 1940’s to today.

The JEM is based on data originating from a Finnish job-exposure matrix, FINJEM, that has been adjusted for Swedish working conditions. The y-axis includes all occupations on the Swedish labour market in two different Swedish coding systems; FoB80 (Population and housing census 1980) and SSYK96 (Standard for Swedish occupational classification). The x-axis shows exposure measures for 47 chemical and particle exposures. For each occupation and agent, the percentage of exposed workers are given, and the mean air concentration during an 8-hour working day. For each agent a definition is given. For example, the definition for exposure to respirable crystalline silica is as follows: Occupational, inhalatory exposure to respirable (aerodynamic diameter <5 mikrometer, um) crystalline silica containing dusts (e.g., granite). Does not include amorphous silica dust. Unit of level: mg/m3 (milligram of agent in cubic meter of workroom air). Assessment threshold: possibly at least 5% of the occupation exposed to an annual mean level of 0.02 mg/m³ of the agent. 

The JEM is time-resolved and covers two periods relevant for the different coding systems. 

1945-1959, 1960-1974, 1975-1984, 1985-1994, 1995-1997, 1998-2000, 2001-2003, 2004-2006, 2007-2009, 2010-2012, 2013-2015 

1995-1997, 1998-2000, 2001-2003, 2004-2006, 2007-2009, 2010-2012, 2013-2015, 2016-2018. 

The working conditions are similar in many ways in Sweden and Finland, therefore we are confident to use Finnish data as a basis for our Swedish JEM. In some cases, however, notably differences due to for example different legislation or targeted work environment efforts can have an impact on the exposure situation. When necessary, we have adjusted the metrics to better reflect the conditions in Sweden. When available, measurement data from Sweden are used in combination with expert assessments made by experienced occupational hygienists.


Time trends in occupational exposure to chemicals in Sweden: proportion exposed, distribution across demographic and labor market strata, and exposure levels.
Gustavsson P, Wiebert P, Tinnerberg H, Bodin T, Linnersjö A, Hed Myrberg I, Albin M, Selander J
Scand J Work Environ Health 2022 Sep;48(6):479-489

Occupational exposure to particles and increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A population-based cohort study in Stockholm, Sweden.
Grahn K, Gustavsson P, Andersson T, Lindén A, Hemmingsson T, Selander J, Wiebert P
Environ Res 2021 Sep;200():111739



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Pernilla Wiebert

Affiliated to Research
Anna Persson