This publication presents current perspectives on the systems that have evolved for setting OELs in the main global jurisdictions including the UK, US and the EU. The document explores key stages of the OEL-setting procedure, from the scientific evaluation of health data, to risk acceptance criteria and the consideration of socio-economic factors. It concludes with a suggested approach for a more harmonized approach to the derivation and setting of OELs.
The fact that OELs can differ greatly from one region to another, combined with a lack of clarity in many cases in how these limits have been derived, causes confusion and uncertainty for companies that operate internationally.
The publication provides the foundation for the ICMM OEL initiative, and an earlier draft formed a valuable framework for discussion at a multi-stakeholder workshop with representatives of the major OEL-setting bodies in November 2005.