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Results of the Commission’s work

The Commission’s main body of work is the so-called List of MAK and BAT Values: this contains not just the MAK values themselves from which it derives its name – i.e. the quantities of substances that do not cause long-term damage in the air at the workplace in the form of gas, vapour or aerosol – it also provides details of whether substances in the work area cause cancer, damage germ cells or an unborn child during pregnancy, sensitise the skin or respiratory tract, or can be absorbed in toxic quantities via the skin. In addition, it shows the concentration of a substance in the body to which a person can be exposed for a long period of their working life without suffering health damage (BAT values).

The List of MAK and BAT Values is submitted to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs every year and provides the essential basis for necessary changes and adaptations of statutory regulations in the field of occupational health and safety.

As a basis for the proposals for threshold limit values compiled in the MAK and BAT lists, the Commission publishes detailed substantiations which systematically summarise the state of knowledge on the toxicological properties of a substance and provide an overview of all in vitro and in vivo studies underpinning the derivation of the threshold limit value. The derivation of each value follows a detailed description of the categorisation and nomenclature, which is also further refined and published if necessary. In the event of significant new findings, substantiations are revised and the threshold limit values are adjusted as necessary. In addition to the substantiations, information is also published on the measurement methods used to determine threshold limit values.

All the results of the Commission’s work are published in open access on a platform – the so-called MAK Collection – where they are archived and made available for subsequent use.

In order to ensure that existing unpublished studies, data and findings can be passed on to the Commission and reviewed by it, there is a “preview list” that indicates which substances the Commission will be focusing on in the next two years. The list of changes and additions to the substantiations is published along with the annual List of MAK and BAT Values. When this list is published, the six-month public comment period starts for the proposed amendments. Comments and suggestions can be taken up during this period.

Substantiations and methods

Since 2020, the MAK Collection has been published and further developed on the PUBLISSO platform run by the ZB MED Information Centre for Life Sciences.

Until all work is fully integrated in the new platform, the Commission’s older articles (up until 2019) still appear on the website of Wiley-VCH Verlag.

Conceptual work

Advisory opinions

Press releases and information for science (general overview)