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Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area

The task of the Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area (MAK Commission), in accordance with the statutes of the DFG, is to provide scientific policy advice. The MAK Commission proposes maximum workplace concentrations (MAK values) for volatile chemicals and dusts, biological tolerance values (BAT values), biologische Leitwerte (BLW), biological reference values for workplace substances (BAR) and analytical methods for substances in the air and biological material. Substances which are carcinogenic, germ cell mutagenic, sensitising or absorbed percutaneously or which pose a risk during pregnancy are classified accordingly.

Since 2012 the MAK Commission has had the status of a Permanent Senate Commission within the DFG.

On 1 July of every year the proposals for maximum workplace concentrations (MAK values), biological tolerance values (BAT values) and classifications are published in the annual List of MAK and BAT Values and sent to the German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The Ministry's Committee on Hazardous Substances (AGS) reviews the proposals and usually recommends that they be adopted in the Hazardous Substances Ordinance.

Each year detailed documentationis published in German and English for all proposed MAK values, BAT values and classifications. These documents run to over 1000 printed pages. Since January 2012 the MAK Collection has been available online in German and English. It includes the documentation for the MAK and BAT values and the analytical methods for air and biological material. All publications that have appeared since 1972 are therefore available free of charge in electronic format.

Since 2005 the MAK and BAT data, proposed classifications and associated documentation have been put up for public discussion six months before publication.

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