Industrial Hygiene

 Occupational Heavy Metal Exposures

Last Updated: December 06, 2023
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Most occupational exposures to heavy metals are associated with metal working and machining, including but not limited to fabrication, smelting, welding, forges, foundries, grinding, refinishing and repair work. ​


IHs are typically involved in sampling (both area & personal) for heavy metal exposures. ​IH would also be involved in implementing controls to help minimize or eliminate heavy metal exposures.

Occupational Exposure Limits:

The most current and conservative occupational exposure limits (OEL) are listed below, Army Guidance is being used until a DoD Consensus is reached ​.


TLV 0.00005 mg/m3 (inhalable fraction)​​


OSHA PEL TWA  0.005 mg/m3 (total fraction)

ACGIH TLV  TWA 0.002 mg/m3 (respirable fraction)​

Hexavalent Chromium

ACGIH TLV 0.0002 mg/m3 (inhalable fraction); STEL 0.0005 mg/m3  (inhalable fraction)​


OSHA PEL TWA 0.05 mg/m3​

Army Regulations and Guidance:

Army Safety WebsiteExternal Link

Federal Regulations and Guidance:

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