Working with Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are substances or mixtures that are potentially hazardous or harmful to humans or the environment. The aim of the tasks and measures realised by BAuA is to ensure the safe handling of chemicals and materials.

Man is filling chemicals in a large mixing tank
© Uwe Völkner, Fotoagentur FOX

Hazardous substances have specific physical, chemical or toxicological characteristics. For example, they may be highly flammable, poisonous, corrosive or carcinogenic.

To ensure the safe handling of hazardous substances, a series of laws, regulations, tasks and measures operate at the state, national and EU level as part of a complex risk management system.

Federal Office for Chemicals

The Chemicals Act (ChemG) appoints BAuA as the Federal Office for Chemicals (BfC) and, as such, as the statutory body for tasks under the REACH, CLP and Biocidal Products Regulations. In accordance with the key elements of the REACH Regulation, these tasks include the

  • registration,
  • evaluation,
  • authorisation and
  • restriction

of substances.

As part of the authorisation of biocidal products, the BfC is responsible for ensuring that biocides are only placed on the market if they can be handled safely. Active substances are evaluated and authorised in a two-stage process.
If substances are assigned to specific hazard classes, then specific measures usually apply to the use of these substances. Risk minimisation measures are chosen based on the results of extensive risk assessments and taking account of socio-economic factors, which can be estimated and evaluated using, for example, the "Socio-Economic Analysis (SEA)" instrument.

Easy-to-use workplace control scheme for hazardous substances

Practical guidance on risk assessment and the implementation of suitable protective measures are key prerequisites for protecting workers' health in activities involving hazardous sub-stances. In this context, it is important that hazards presented by hazardous substances can be identified quickly and associated with suitable protective measures. BAuA provides practical guidance in the form of the "Easy-to-use workplace control scheme for hazardous substances" (EMKG). The EMKG includes all potential hazards due to inhalation and skin contact as well as fire and explosion hazards. In a systematic approach companies are allowed to identify hazards associated with the handling of hazardous substances, as well as the correct measures to reduce exposure.

Biomonitoring

Biomonitoring is an important tool in occupational medicine for ensuring the safest possible design of work involving hazardous substances. It identifies individual forms of exposure, contributes to the assessment of working conditions and helps with the evaluation of occupational safety measures with a view to preventing health damage due to chemicals.

SUBSPORTplus portal about substitution of hazardous substances

Research Projects

Project numberF 2537 StatusOngoing Project Biomonitoring in exhaled air and effect monitoring of occupationally exposed styrene workers

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2510 StatusOngoing Project Derivation of suitable biomonitoring methods to determine the current work-related lead exposure of employees

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2493 StatusOngoing Project Modular Exposure Models for OSH Risk Assessment in Chemical Safety

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2458 StatusCompleted Project Investigations into the feasibility of a cohort study among workers exposed to diisocyanates to accompany new regulations for diisocyanates under chemicals legislation

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Research completed

Project numberF 2484 StatusOngoing Project Packaging, formulations and systems for exposure reduction to hazardous substances in the workplace

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2492 StatusCompleted Project Modular Exposure Models for OSH Risk Assessment in Chemical Safety

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Research completed

Project numberF 2487 StatusOngoing Project Validation of control guidance sheets for filling of containers with acids and bases

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2486 StatusOngoing Project Determination of the inhalative exposure to hazardous substances and biological agents during the commercial use of gardening devices

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2477 StatusOngoing Project Implementation of risk governance: meeting the needs of nanotechnology

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2440 StatusOngoing Project Measures for control guidance sheets (MapS)

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Research ongoing

Project numberF 2430 StatusCompleted Project Collection of toxicokinetic data for the assessment of different exposure routes using the example of the antibiotic enrofloxacin

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Research completed

Project numberF 2410 StatusCompleted Project Determination of hazardous substances exposure during "Additive Manufacturing" – Application of powder-based systems

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Research completed

Project numberF 2404 StatusCompleted Project Study of the exposure to antibiotics of cattle hoof carers with biological monitoring

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Research completed

Project numberF 2403 StatusCompleted Project Validation of control guidance sheets for filling of containers with dust releasing solid matter

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Research completed

Project numberF 2366 StatusCompleted Project Human exposure to biocidal products: Measurement of inhalation and dermal exposure during the application of biocide foams

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Research completed

Project numberF 2365 StatusCompleted Project Development of an enforceable test method for determination of the rigidity of respirable biopersistent fibres

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Research completed

Project numberF 2346 StatusCompleted Project Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - Implementation of the concept of exposure-risk-relationships in enterprises handling strong polluted materials

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Research completed

Project numberF 2314 StatusCompleted Project Easy-to-use workplace control scheme for hazardous substances 3.0 - Technical and didactical revision of the overall concept

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Research completed

Project numberF 2265 StatusCompleted Project Field Study on a Future Module "Fire and Explosion Risks" for an Easy-to-use Control Scheme for Hazardous Substances at the Workplace (EMKG)

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Research completed

Project numberF 2307 StatusCompleted Project Development and validation of control guidance sheets for protection against chemicals in maintenance and parking of cars

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Research completed

Project numberF 2309 StatusCompleted Project Validation of control guidance sheets for filling and emptying of containers for liquids

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Research completed

Publications

Search results

Development of handling energy factors for use of dustiness data in exposure assessment modelling

Article 2024

Several exposure assessment models use dustiness as an input parameter for scaling or estimating exposure during powder …

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MAK Commission: Chloroacetic acids - Determination of mono-, di- and trichloroacetic acid in workplace air using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-UV)

Article 2024

The working group "Air Analyses" of the German Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds …

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MAK Commission: Furan - Determination of furan in exhaled air by GC-MS/MS

Article 2024

The working group "Analyses in Biological Materials" of the German Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of …

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MAK Commission: Furan - Determination of furan in exhaled air by GC-MS/MS

Article 2024

The working group "Analyses in Biological Materials" of the German Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of …

To the Publication

MAK Commission: Hexavalent chromium - Determination of particular hexavalent chromium in workplace air using ion chromatography with postcolumn derivatisation (IC-UV/VIS)

Article 2024

This analytical method is a validated measurement procedure for the determination of particular hexavalent chromium e.g. …

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The Biomonitoring Information System Facilitates Research

Article 2024

The complete article can be purchased in German at the website of the Journal "Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin", …

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Use of the dustiness index in combination with the handling energy factor for exposure modelling of nanomaterials

Article 2024

The use of modelling tools in the occupational hygiene community has increased in the last years to comply with the different …

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A roadmap to strengthen standardisation efforts in risk governance of nanotechnology

Article 2023

A roadmap was developed to strengthen standardisation activities for risk governance of nanotechnology. Its baseline is the …

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Aerosol formation during foam application of non-volatile biocidal substances

Article 2023

The complete article "Aerosol formation during foam application of non-volatile biocidal substances" can be downloaded at the …

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Approaching cross-sector aggregate substance exposure assessment for consumers

Cooperation 2023

The Publication "Approaching cross-sector aggregate substance exposure assessment for consumers" can be purchased at the website …

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