Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 35) Show all publications
Schenk, L., Deng, U. & Johanson, G. (2015). Derived No-effect Levels (DNELs) under the European Chemicals Regulation REACH-An Analysis of Long-term Inhalation Worker-DNELs Presented by Industry. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 59(4), 416-438
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Derived No-effect Levels (DNELs) under the European Chemicals Regulation REACH-An Analysis of Long-term Inhalation Worker-DNELs Presented by Industry
2015 (English)In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 59, no 4, p. 416-438Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European REACH regulation places responsibility for providing safety information, including derived no-effect levels (DNELs), on chemicals and chemical products on 'industry', i.e. manufacturers and importers. We compared long-term inhalation worker-DNELs (wDNELs) presented by industry with the corresponding Swedish occupational exposure limits (OELs), and for a subset, with wDNELs derived by us. Our wDNELs were derived using toxicological evaluations published by the Swedish Criteria Group and our interpretation of the REACH Guidance. On average, industry's wDNELs were the same as the Swedish OELs (median of wDNEL-OEL ratios: 0.98, n = 235). However, the variation was huge, the extremes being up to 450 times higher, and up to 230 times lower than the corresponding OEL. Nearly one-fifth of the wDNELs were = 2 times higher and one-third = 2 times lower than the OEL. No time trend was seen in the wDNEL/OEL ratios, suggesting that older OELs were not systematically higher than the more recent ones. Industry's wDNELs varied widely and were generally higher (median 4.2 times, up to 435 times higher, down to 13 times lower, n = 23) also compared to our wDNELs. Only five industry wDNELs were equal to or lower than ours. The choices of key studies, dose descriptors, and assessment factors all seemed to contribute to the discrepancies. We conclude that although the REACH guidance is detailed, many choices that will influence the wDNEL lack firm instructions. A major problem is that little advice is given on when and how to depart from default assessment factors.

Keywords
derived no-effect level, occupational exposure limit, REACH, risk assessment
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-169971 (URN)10.1093/annhyg/meu103 (DOI)000355625800003 ()25471229 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84929483906 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-0294
Note

QC 20150626

Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L. & Antonsson, A.-B. (2015). Implementation of the chemicals regulation REACH: Exploring the impact on occupational health and safety management among Swedish downstream users. Safety Science, 80, 233-242
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementation of the chemicals regulation REACH: Exploring the impact on occupational health and safety management among Swedish downstream users
2015 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 80, p. 233-242Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the present study we have examined how the European chemicals regulation Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) has influenced occupational risk management of chemicals at Swedish downstream user companies. The data were collected through interviews with occupational health and safety professionals, safety representatives and authority employees. The results show that most of the informants had scarce knowledge about REACH and that REACH implementation has not had any major impacts on downstream users’ occupational risk management, but the impacts the regulation has had were perceived as positive. For instance, clear substance identification and increased hazard information were appreciated improvements of safety data sheets (SDS). However, with regards to identifying how to safely use a substance or product neither the SDSs nor the attached exposure scenarios were perceived as sufficient. REACH was not perceived as a major driver for substitution but has had some impact on substitution, either by requiring it for certain substances as through the authorisation procedure or facilitating the identification of relevant substances to substitute as more information on hazards has become available. The obstacles to REACH implementation are similar to those of occupational health and safety legislation; lack of awareness, understanding and/or incentives to take action. Especially smaller companies with their limited resources lag behind. Reaching the full potential of REACH requires more work on motivating and supporting downstream users to fulfil their REACH obligations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keywords
REACH, Occupational health and safety, Policy implementation, Safety data sheets, Exposure scenario
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172655 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2015.08.001 (DOI)000361920600024 ()2-s2.0-84939791473 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Note

QC 20150901

Available from: 2015-08-27 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Westerholm, E. & Schenk, L. (2014). Comparative analysis of toxicological evaluations for dermal exposure performed under two different EU regulatory frameworks. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology, 68(1), 51-58
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparative analysis of toxicological evaluations for dermal exposure performed under two different EU regulatory frameworks
2014 (English)In: Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology, ISSN 0273-2300, E-ISSN 1096-0295, Vol. 68, no 1, p. 51-58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dermal exposure to chemicals is highly relevant in relation to the use of cosmetic products, both in consumers and in individuals exposed occupationally. Regulatory frameworks exist within the EU to limit the dermal exposure of the general population and workers to chemicals in general, as well as to limit the use of certain substances in cosmetic products. The objective of the study was to investigate and compare toxicological evaluations of dermal exposure performed under current regulatory frameworks. The publicly disseminated hazard information under the respective regulatory frameworks was compiled and compared for the five substances resorcinol, p-phenylenediamine, p-aminophenol, N-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine, and diethylene glycol monoethyl ether. A low consistency between evaluations was observed in respect to data coverage and cited dose descriptors. No systematic differences over all five substances were identified from the viewpoint of dermal hazard assessment. The critical effect and corresponding systemic effect dose descriptor was identical for two substances, differed somewhat for two other (a factor of 2-2.5). For N-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine a critical effect was only identified under REACH.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keywords
Regulation, Derived no effect levels, Risk management, Cosmetics regulation, REACH
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136184 (URN)10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.11.006 (DOI)000330601500006 ()2-s2.0-84889663997 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Note

QC 20140310

Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-12-04 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L. & Wester, M. (2014). Covert chemicals, tangible trust: Risk management of chemicals in the workplace. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 12(1), 91-106
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Covert chemicals, tangible trust: Risk management of chemicals in the workplace
2014 (English)In: Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, ISSN 1477-3996, E-ISSN 1477-4003, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 91-106Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, as in other industrialised nations, occupational exposure limits are considered to be an important tool for chemical risk management, although many other factors also play a role in occupational safety and health management. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of occupational exposure limits in relation to information about, and the risk perception of, chemicals. An interview study was performed at four Swedish process industry workplaces in order to investigate these issues. For each workplace, the range of informants covered at least one person who spent most of their working time in the production process; one person in a managerial position; one person in the site health, safety and environment department; the main safety ombudsman; and the site manager. The results show that informants' understanding of occupational exposure limits and their use is quite poor, although they do understand that there is epistemic uncertainty in determining the toxicological effects of hazardous substances. The risk perception and safety behaviour of the informants were not affected by the occupational exposure limits, nor did occupational exposure limits have any role as sources of information. Nevertheless, almost all the informants expressed the view that occupational exposure limits are trusted and needed; safety engineers and main safety ombudsmen, generally, also added that occupational exposure limits are useful. What was found to be most important factor for the informants' perception of risk and safety was trust in specific people, often established through long-term relationships.

Keywords
Chemical safety, Occupational exposure limits, Personal protective equipment, Risk management, Workplace health
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161794 (URN)2-s2.0-84901592035 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150317

Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-17 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L., Ding, Q. & Hansson, S. O. (2014). Science and policy in risk-based occupational exposure limits. Paper presented at 50th Congress of the European-Societies-of-Toxicology, SEP 07-10, 2014, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND. Toxicology Letters, 229, 120-120
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Science and policy in risk-based occupational exposure limits
2014 (English)In: Toxicology Letters, ISSN 0378-4274, E-ISSN 1879-3169, Vol. 229, p. 120-120Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-153256 (URN)10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.06.432 (DOI)000341134000379 ()
Conference
50th Congress of the European-Societies-of-Toxicology, SEP 07-10, 2014, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND
Note

QC 20141009

Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-03 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Ding, Q., Schenk, L. & Hansson, S. O. (2014). Setting Risk-Based Occupational Exposure Limits for Non-Threshold Carcinogens. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 20(5), 1329-1344
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Setting Risk-Based Occupational Exposure Limits for Non-Threshold Carcinogens
2014 (English)In: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, ISSN 1080-7039, E-ISSN 1549-7860, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 1329-1344Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several regulators have recently issued so-called risk-based occupational exposure limits for carcinogenic substances, and also reported estimates of the risk of fatality that exposure to the limit value would give rise to. This practice provides an opportunity to study how differences in the exposure limits set by different regulators are influenced by differences in the scientific judgment (what is the risk at different levels?) and in the policy judgment (how should large risks be accepted?). Based on a broad search, a list was compiled of exposure limits for carcinogens that the respective regulator associates with a numerical risk estimate. For benzene, such data was available from six regulators. The differences in estimates of the risk/exposure relationship and in risk tolerance were about equal in size for benzene, while the range for acceptability was somewhat wider. A similar pattern was observed, although less clearly, for substances with data from only two or three regulators. It is concluded that the science factor and the policy factor both contribute to differences in exposure limits for carcinogens. It was not possible to judge which of these two factors has the larger influence.

Keywords
science-policy relation, carcinogens, occupational exposure limits, acceptable risk, scientific uncertainty, chemicals regulation
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-127265 (URN)10.1080/10807039.2013.842733 (DOI)000333948700013 ()2-s2.0-84897900701 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Note

QC 20140509

Available from: 2013-08-28 Created: 2013-08-28 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L. (2013). Awareness and understanding of occupational exposure limits in Sweden. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology, 65(3), 304-310
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Awareness and understanding of occupational exposure limits in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology, ISSN 0273-2300, E-ISSN 1096-0295, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 304-310Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The efficiency of a risk management tool, such as occupational exposure limits (OELs), partly depends on the responsible parties' awareness and understanding of it. The aim of this study was to measure the awareness and understanding of OELs at Swedish workplaces and to collect opinions on their use and function. Through a web-based questionnaire targeting workers that are exposed to air pollutants or chemicals, and persons working with occupational health and safety or in management at workplaces where workers are exposed to air pollutants or chemicals 1017 responses were collected. The results show that awareness and understanding of Swedish OELs is low among workers, as well as managers and occupational health and safety employees. Statistically significant, but small, differences were found depending on the size of the company and the position in the company. Based on the results, it is recommended that authorities and the social partners target this lack of awareness and understanding regarding OELs. Also, other tools to ascertain a safe working environment with regards to chemicals exposure might be useful for Swedish workplaces.

Keywords
Occupational exposure limits, Risk management, Chemicals regulation, Risk awareness
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122345 (URN)10.1016/j.yrtph.2013.01.006 (DOI)000317552100003 ()2-s2.0-84874573889 (Scopus ID)
Funder
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, FAS Dnr 2009-0666
Note

QC 20130520

Available from: 2013-05-20 Created: 2013-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L., Deng, U. & Johanson, G. (2013). How consistent are the Derived No-Effect Levels (DNELs) in the European REACH legislation?. In: : . Paper presented at 52nd Annual Meeting & ToxExpo (SOT 2013); San Antonio, Texas, USA, 10-14 March, 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How consistent are the Derived No-Effect Levels (DNELs) in the European REACH legislation?
2013 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The new European REACH regulation places more responsibility than hitherto on manufacturers and importers of chemicals (“industry”) to provide safety information. An important part of the development of a REACH Chemical Safety Report is derivation of Derived No-Effect Levels (DNELs) which represent “the level of exposure above which humans should not be exposed”. In order to study the consistency, we compared DNELs presented by industry at the website of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) with those derived by us in our interpretation of the REACH guidance (Chapter R.8: Characterisation of dose [concentration]-response for human health, http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13632/information_requirements_r8_en.pdf). There are various DNELs, e.g. representing short-term, long-term, inhalation and dermal exposure, as well as workers and the whole population. We limited our study to “worker-DNELs long-term” for inhalation route as they resemble occupational exposure limits (OELs). We found 24 substances for which (1) such DNELs were given in the ECHA chemical database (http://echa.europa.eu/web/guest/information-on-chemicals/registered-substances) and (2) a scientific basis for OEL had been published by the Swedish Criteria Group within the last 15 years in the serial Arbete och Hälsa (https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/3194?locale=en). The results were startling, as the DNELs given by industry were 2.4 to 1,100 times higher than ours for 23 substances and 260,000 times higher for trimellitic anhydride. Some of the discrepancy is explained by different choice of key studies/points of departure (PODs). However, the choice of assessment factors (AFs) also differed markedly, as industry’s total AFs (calculated implicitly from the POD and the DNEL) were 1-230 times lower than ours. We conclude that although the REACH guidance is relatively detailed, many arbitrary choices remain that will influence the DNEL. A major problem is that little advice is given on when and how to depart from default AFs.

National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136209 (URN)
Conference
52nd Annual Meeting & ToxExpo (SOT 2013); San Antonio, Texas, USA, 10-14 March, 2013
Note

QC 20140619

Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-12-04 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Schenk, L. (2013). Hygieniska gränsvärden   -    till vilken nytta?. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hygieniska gränsvärden   -    till vilken nytta?
2013 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. p. 61
Keywords
hygieniska gränsvärden, kemikalier, riskbedömning, arbetsmiljö
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121173 (URN)978-91-7501-659-7 (ISBN)
Funder
AFA Insurance
Note

QC 20131217

Available from: 2013-04-22 Created: 2013-04-22 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Ding, Q., Schenk, L. & Hansson, S. O. (2013). Occupational diseases in the People’s Republic of China between 2000 and 2010. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 56(12), 1423-1432
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Occupational diseases in the People’s Republic of China between 2000 and 2010
2013 (English)In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, ISSN 0271-3586, E-ISSN 1097-0274, Vol. 56, no 12, p. 1423-1432Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This study provides a description and analysis of the development of occupational diseases in China as recorded in the official statistics during the period 2000-2010, identifies major challenges, and explores possible solutions for prevention and control. Methods: In-depth textual analysis and data analysis of China's annual national reports of occupational diseases, as well as of corresponding policy and regulation documents. Results: The number of recorded cases of occupational diseases increased rapidly in China between 2000 and 2010. Pneumoconiosis was the most prevalent category of occupational diseases. Chemical poisonings accounted for 13% of the cases of occupational diseases. Conclusions: Difficulties in diagnosis and inefficient surveillance are major impediments to the mitigation of occupational diseases. The new definition of occupational disease has provided an opportunity to enlarge the Catalogue of Occupational Diseases. Improved coordination of the different chemical regulations meant to protect human health may also facilitate the prevention of occupational disease.

Keywords
occupational disease, pneumoconiosis, chemical poisoning, occupational hazards, policy, chemicals regulations
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-127264 (URN)10.1002/ajim.22245 (DOI)000330040200006 ()2-s2.0-84887254848 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20130830

Available from: 2013-08-28 Created: 2013-08-28 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3799-4814

Search in DiVA

Show all publications