Unit 4.4 Measurement of Hazardous Substances
Unit 4.4 conducts project-based workplace measurements at companies in order to determine workers’ exposure during activities involving hazardous substances, as well as developing analytical methods and measurement strategies for workplace monitoring.
In order to carry out this work, the unit has at its disposal a hazardous substances laboratory with modern equipment, including the necessary personal and stationary sampling devices, direct-reading measuring instruments and analysis apparatus for workplace measurements.
In implementing these projects, Unit 4.4 works hand in hand with the relevant companies and industry associations. Likewise, it also cooperates closely with monitoring stations operated by the state and by professional associations. In collaboration with these partners, it compiles standardised working procedures in accordance with the Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances (TRGS) 400, including process- and substance-specific criteria (VSK) according to TRGS 420, to assist companies with performing the risk assessment.
In the event of exposure to biological agents in the studied activities, or if biomonitoring proves to be necessary, this is implemented through close cooperation with Units 4.2 and 4.7. The employer therefore receives all of the information for the risk assessment from a single source.
How the results are used
- Development of risk assessment instruments for activities involving hazardous substances
- Exposure assessments within the context of evaluation tasks (REACH, Biocidal Products)
- Development of standardised working procedures for risk assessment
- National and international standardisation
Control Guidance Sheets are another key instrument for risk assessment. Accordingly, they are validated for various activities through extensive workplace measurements based on a specially developed measurement strategy and adapted to the state of the art. Moreover, validated Control Guidance Sheets are to be standardised and used nationally and internationally for the necessary exposure scenarios for the risk assessment, as supplied within the context of REACH.
Air Analyses Working Group of the MAK Commission
Unit 4.4 is also home to the management and the scientific secretariat of the Air Analyses Working Group of the Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Unit 4.4 regularly trains chemical laboratory technicians.