Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area
The Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area (MAK Commission) is responsible for determining the current state of research relating to the health risks posed by substances and materials used at the workplace and for advising public authorities accordingly. To this end, the MAK Commission draws up proposals for MAK values (maximum concentration at the workplace) for volatile chemicals and dusts, BAT values (biological tolerance values), and also develops procedures to analyse chemical substances in the air and in biological materials. Substances that are carcinogenic, germ cell mutagenic, sensitizing or percutaneously absorbed, as well as those that pose a risk to the embryo or fetus, are classified accordingly.
On 1 July of each year, the proposals for the MAK and BAT values and the classifications are published in the annual List of MAK and BAT values, which is presented to the German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The Ministry’s Committee on Hazardous Substances ("AGS") subsequently reviews the proposals and makes a recommendation for their inclusion in the Hazardous Substances Ordinance.
In addition to the publication of the List of MAK and BAT Values, detailed scientific documentations are given for all the proposed MAK and BAT values and classifications, which are published every year in German and English, on approximately 1,000 printed pages.
Since 2005, the MAK and BAT values, with their proposed classifications and associated scientific documentations, are put up for public discussion for six months prior to publication.
Furthermore, methods for the analysis of the substances in the air and in biological materials are published at regular intervals.