Hazard and Risk Assessment and Cost and Benefit Analysis for Revising Permissible Exposure Limits in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of Korea

산업안전보건법 허용기준 대상물질의 허용기준 개정을 위한 유해성·위험성 평가 및 사회적 비용·편익 분석

  • Kim, Ki Youn (Department of Industrial Health, Catholic University of Pusan) ;
  • Oh, Sung Eop (Department of Environmental and Industrial Health, Catholic University of Pusan) ;
  • Hong, Mun Ki (Occupational Safety & Health Research Institue, Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency) ;
  • Lee, Kwon Seob (Occupational Safety & Health Research Institue, Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency)
  • 김기연 (부산가톨릭대학교 산업보건학과) ;
  • 오성업 (부산가톨릭대학교 환경산업보건학과) ;
  • 홍문기 (한국산업안전보건공단 산업안전보건연구원) ;
  • 이권섭 (한국산업안전보건공단 산업안전보건연구원)
  • Received : 2015.04.02
  • Accepted : 2015.06.16
  • Published : 2015.06.30


Objectives: An objective of this study was to perform a risk assessment and social cost-benefit analysis for revising permissible exposure limits for seven substances: Nickel(Insoluble inorganic compounds), benzene, carbon disulfide, formaldehyde, cadmium(as compounds), trichloroethylene, touluene-2,4-diisocyanate. Materials and Methods: The research methods were divided into risk and hazard assessment and cost-benefit analysis. The risk and hazard assessment for the seven substances consists of four steps: An overview of GHS MSDS(1st), review of document of ACGIH's TLVs (2nd), comparison between international occupational exposure limits and domestic permissible exposure limits(3rd), and analysis of excess workplace and excess rate for occupational exposure limits based on previous work environment measurement data(4th). Total cost was estimated using cost of local exhaust ventilation, number of excess workplace and penalties for exceeding a permissible exposure limit. On the other hand, total benefit was calculated using the reduction rate of occupational disease, number of workplaces treating each substance and industrial accident compensation. Finally, the net benefit was calculated by subtracting total cost from total benefit. Results: All the substances investigated in this study were classified by CMR(Carcinogens, Mutagens or Reproductive toxicants) and their international occupational exposure limits were stricter than the domestic permissible exposure limits. As a result of excess rate analysis, trichloroethylene was the highest at 11%, whereas nickel was the lowest at 0.5%. The excess rates of all substances except for trichloroethylene were observed at less than 10%. Among the seven substances, the total cost was highest for trichloroethylene and lowest for carbon disulfide. The benefits for the seven substances were higher than costs estimated based on strengthening current permissible exposure limits. Thus, revising the permissible exposure limits of the seven substances was determined to be acceptable from a social perspective. Conclusions: The final revised permissible exposure limits suggested for the seven substances are as follows: $0.2mg/m^3$ for nickel, 0.5 ppm(TWA) and 2.5 ppm(STEL) for benzene, 1 ppm(TWA) for carbon disulfide, $0.01mg/m^3$(TWA) for cadmium, 10 ppm(TWA) and 25 ppm(STEL) for trichloroethylene, 0.3 ppm(TWA) for formaldehyde, and 0.005 ppm(TWA) and 0.02 ppm(STEL) for toluene diisocynate(isomers).


Supported by : 한국안전보건공단


  1. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists: 2014 TLVs and BEIs: Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices ACGIH, Cincinnati, OH 2014.
  2. A division of the American Chemical Society(Chemical Abstract Service). CHEMLIST(Regulated Chemicals); 2015.4. Avalilable from:
  3. Boyes WK. Bushnell PJ, Crofton KM. Neuro-toxic and pharmacokinetic responses to trichloroethylene as a function of exposure scenario. Environ Health Perpect 2000;2:317-322
  4. Diem JE. Jones RN. Hendrick DJ. Five-year longitudinal study of workers employed in a new toluene diisocyanate manufacturing plant. Am Rev Respir Dis 1982;126:420-42
  5. Gough, M. Report on the Consensus Workshop on Formaldehyde. Environ. Health Perspect. 1984;58: 324-380
  6. Kane, L.E.. Alarie, Y. Sensory Irritation to Formaldehyde and Acrolein during Single and Repeated Exposures in Mice. Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 1977;38:509-522
  7. Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency(KOSHA). MSDS DB. 2011. Available from :
  8. Kim EA. Workers exposed to benzene 2000s. J Industrial health, agency of korean industrial health association 2011;275;6-12
  9. Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency(KOSHA). Hazard and Risk Classification Guidelines for Chemicals(KOSHA GUIDE W-6-2012). 2012
  10. Kim TY. Lee EJ. Kim JC. Study on cost-benefit analysis for Management substance and Special management Substanc. Report of Korea Occupational Safety and Health. 2014.
  11. Lee KS, Lim CH, Lee JH, Lee HJ, Yang JS, et al. Study on the comparison of GHS criteria and classification for chemicals and the practical use of chemical informatio database. J Korean Soc Occup Environ Hyg. 2008; 18(1):62-71
  12. Ministry of Employment and Labor(MoEL). Standard for Classification and Labelling of Chemical Substance and Material Safety Data Sheet. MoEL Public Notice ; No.37. 2013.
  13. Ministry of Environment(MoE). White pape of Environment.; 2012. p. 240-273
  14. Phee YG. Choi SJ. Jeong JH. Kuk WK. Jeong CH. et al. Study on the Validity of selection of established chemical exposure limit in Occupational Safety and Health Act of Korea. Report of Korea Occupational Safety and Health. 2011
  15. Rho YM, Kim CN, Hong JH, Kim KY. Study on legislation of working enviroment permissible exposure limit. Report of Korea Occupational Safety and Health 2008
  16. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). TRI on-site and off-site reported disposed of or otherwise released (in pounds), for facilities in all industries, carbon disulfide. 2002 Available from: