AEGL - Acute Exposure Guideline Levels: Relevance and Legislation

The legal framework

What are AEGL values intended for ?

AEGL values are guidance values for hazardous incidents in the context of the German "Hazardous Incident Ordinance" ("Störfall-Verordnung" (in german) and European legislation (Council Directive 96/82/EC)).

Such values serve as guidance for:

  • the safety layout of plants as well as
  • the operational alert and emergency response planning and
  • the planning in relation to disaster control.

Background is the term of „hazardous incident“ in the German legislation or „major accident“ in EU legislation:

Major accident shall mean an occurrence such as a major emission, fire, or explosion resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of the operation of any establishment covered by this Directive, and leading to serious danger to human health and/or the environment, immediate or delayed, inside or outside the establishment, and involving one or more dangerous substances.“ (Council Directive 96/82/EC).

Guidance values for hazardous incidents serve for the assessment of effects of such accidents, for example on the neighborhood population. In Germany, the „Commission for Plant Safety“ („Kommission für Anlagensicherheit“, the former „Störfallkommission“) is engaged in the derivation of such guidance values since 1993. It considered the possible release of hazardous substances into different media, i.e. air, water, and soil. For air, the AEGL concept represents a suitable procedure for the derivation of such guidance values.

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