CEMAS is the acronym for a prototype chemical exposure database system that is being developed with funding from the European chemical industry through the CEFIC Long-Range Research Initiative (LRI). It is a joint venture between the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh and the Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at the University of Utrecht. Following testing and review the database will be modified with the aim that it will provide a free, standardised platform for the collection and management of exposure information.
The contents menu to the left can be used to get additional help on each main section of the database. Click the Starting button or follow this link for details of how to get started. This help information is provided with the CEMAS database, located in the Guide sub-folder.
The European Commission plans to introduce a new approach to regulate industrial chemicals. Under the proposed new system called REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals), organisations that manufacture or import more than one tonne of a chemical per year would be required to register it in a central database. The new regulation is intended to improve the protection of human health and the environment while maintaining the competitiveness of the European chemicals industry. You can find out more about REACH at the EU Website
With the proposed introduction of REACH there is a need for industry, researchers and national regulators to collect chemical exposure data in a standardised format. This is the purpose of CEMAS, which will ultimately be made freely available to chemical companies, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Information from SMEs will be an important part of ensuring that the use of chemical substances is safe for all uses and all users. We are at a critical stage in the development of the database and we would value your comments and advice. However, you must realise that the software is still being developed and there are some functions that are not yet available or are still not in their final form. At the current time we are testing prototypes of CEMAS to gain opinions and suggestions on the data and functions to be included. We want your feedback. Your comments will help to shape the final form of CEMAS.
At the moment CEMAS is set up to handle Inhalation and Dermal exposure samples. In each area of CEMAS we have tried to inlude as many relevant data items, or variables, as possible, without necessarily making them mandatory at this stage. Also, we have included several other items that aim to help describe the context of the samples - ie the circumstances at the time of sampling.
In general the data items, and their categories, include those recognised and documented as standard requirements for Workplace Exposure Data Recording and Exposure Database as described by:
- The European Foundation For The Improvement Of living and Working Conditions, Working Group on Exposure Registers In Europe - see
Rajan R, Aylesburg R, Cason B, et al and the Working Group on Exposure Registers in Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions: Occupational Databases. A proposal for core information for workplace exposure measurements on chemical agents. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1996.
- The joint ACGIH - AIHA Task Group on Occupational Exposure Databases - see
Lippmann M, Gomez MR, Rawle GM. Data elements for occupational exposure databases: guidelines and recommendations for airborne hazards and noise. Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1996; 11:1294-1311.
More detailed documentation on the place of CEMAS in the context of occupational exposure databases, and requirements for optional and mandatory data items will form part of the CEMAS development project for CEFIC.
The CEMAS.info online website - http//www.cemas.info - is being upated to provide further information about the project, updates on the database itself, and other accompanying information, such as these help files.
In addition we will be enhancing the the site by adding further information and links to other and related sites on the development and use of exposure databases and other relevant information. For example, further references to exposure database development issues and papers; useful physico-chemical and limits data; and the ongoing development of REACH and other initiatives; etc
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