Dangers of Triazine and Formaldehyde

Table 1: Current and Scheduled Regulated OELs for Formaldehyde: Canadian and Other Jurisdictions


7 These four jurisdictions automatically adopt the annual ACGIH TLV updates.
8 Based on the 2001 TLVs issued by the ACGIH.
9 The Deutsche Forschungemeinschaft (DFG) endorses this MAK Commission value. Note: the STEL and Ceiling Limit values indicated are based on DFG‘s protocol for establishing these values (multipliers).
10 Not legally binding at this time; under review; an 8-h TWA of 0.5 ppm and STEL of 1 ppm is being considered.

TWA: the time weighted average (TWA) concentration of a substance in air which may not be exceeded over a normal 8 hour work period.
STEL: the time weighted average (TWA) concentration of a substance in air which may not be exceeded over any 15 minute period, limited to no more than 4 such periods in an 8 hour work shift with at least one hour between any 2 successive 15 minute excursion periods.
Ceiling: the concentration of a substance in air which may not be exceeded at any time during the work period.

With respect to establishing an OEL, much new information has come forth over the last 6 to 8 years as a number of jurisdictions have completed their reviews on formaldehyde, or are currently in the process of considering appropriate exposure limits for formaldehyde – be it an 8-hour TWA, a Short Term Exposure Limited (―STEL‖), or Ceiling Limit, or a combination of the three. Quebec and Germany have completed their reviews as have Australia, the United Kingdom, Holland and the Nordic nations.

As Table 1 indicates, a Ceiling Limit of 0.3 ppm with no 8-hour TWA limit has been adopted in Denmark, and in several Canadian jurisdictions, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, PEI and the Northwest Territories, as well as for federally regulated workers. Quebec has a Ceiling Limit of 2 ppm with no 8-hour TWA limit. All other provinces and other jurisdictions shown have a combination of 8-hour TWAs, STELs and Ceiling Limits.

BC, along with Finland and Germany have the lowest 8-hour TWAs at 0.3 ppm. Germany and the Nordic countries along with BC enforce a Ceiling Limit of 1.0 ppm. Ontario is currently has a TWA of 1.0 ppm and STEL of 2.0 ppm which came into effect March 31, 2006. Effective December 31, 2007, Ontario will forego the TWA limit and adopt a more protective STEL (dropping from 2.0 to 1.0 ppm). They will also adopt a Ceiling Limit of 1.5 ppm.

US jurisdictions neighbouring BC prescribe less protective OELs. Washington State and Oregon enforce an 8-hour TWA of 0.75 ppm and a STEL of 2.0 ppm; no Ceiling Limit is prescribed.

Overall, BC has one of the lowest 8-hour TWA OELs among the major jurisdictions along with a Ceiling Limit OEL that is also among the lowest. A Ceiling Limit of 1.0 ppm is more protective than a STEL of 1.0 ppm. Hence, notwithstanding the jurisdictions that have adopted the ACGIH Ceiling Limit TLV, the current OELs in BC are some of the most protective in all jurisdictions.