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Step 4.3 Work out your human health exposure band

You can also use our interactive decision tool for this step to work out your human health exposure band.

Why do you need to work out your introduction's exposure band?

It is part of the process to identify the indicative human health risk of your introduction. In step 5, you also have to work out your introduction's environment exposure band.

What does a human health exposure band identify about your introduction?

It identifies the likelihood and extent of human exposure to the chemical.  This likelihood and extent of exposure increases with each band. Exposure band 4 is the highest exposure band. Introductions in human health exposure band 4 will have the highest level of human exposure.

Information that's used to assign a chemical to its correct exposure band

The information you need to be able to work out your exposure band can be different depending on the exposure band criteria you will be using. Some of the exposure band criteria mainly depend on human health categorisation volume, while others mainly depend on the concentration of your chemical when it's introduced into Australia and during its end use. This is a full list of the information you might need to be able to work out your human health exposure band:

  • Human health categorisation volume (needed for scenario 1 of Exposure Band 2, scenario 1 of Exposure Band 3 and Exposure Band 4) - use this guidance to help you calculate human health categorisation volume
  • Concentration of your chemical at introduction (needed for Exposure Band 1, scenario 2 of Exposure Band 2 and scenario 2 of Exposure Band 3).
  • Concentration of your chemical across all end uses (needed for Exposure Band 1, scenario 2 of Exposure Band 2 and scenario 2 of Exposure Band 3).
  • If it has an end use in tattoo inks or personal vaporisers (which are always in human health exposure band 4)
  • If there are any consumer end uses for the chemical introduction (needed for Exposure Band 1 and scenario 2 of Exposure Band 2 and).

Are you introducing a chemical with an end use in tattoo inks or personal vaporisers (‘vapes’)?  

If yes, your introduction is in human health exposure band 4 – skip to Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics.

If no, continue below to work out which exposure band (1, 2, 3 or 4) applies to your introduction.

Work out your human health exposure band

Exposure band 1 criteria

Your introduction is in exposure band 1 if it is either Scenario 1 or Scenario 2.

Scenario 1 – not for consumer end use and less than 0.1% concentration

Your introduction must meet all criteria below:

  • The concentration of your chemical at introduction is less than 0.1 %.
  • The concentration of your chemical is less than 0.1 % across all your introduction’s end uses.
  • Your introduction is not for any consumer end use.  

If you meet all criteria for Scenario 1, your introduction is in exposure band 1 for human health. Next, choose between option 1 and option 2:

Option 1: The indicative risk of your introduction to human health is low risk. You can skip the remainder of step 4 and go to step 5 to work out your introduction’s risk to the environment. Once you have completed step 5, you will be able to work out your introduction category at step 6.

Option 2: You can choose to continue with the rest of step 4 to see if your introduction can be very low risk to human health. To do this, work through Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics, followed by step 4.5. You must then complete step 5 to work out your introduction’s risk to the environment.
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If your introduction is not scenario 1, go to scenario 2 or exposure band 2 criteria.

Scenario 2 – controlled introduction and use of a chemical

Your introduction must meet all criteria below:

  • Your introduction of the industrial chemical is not of an industrial chemical that has an end use in tattoo inks or personal vaporisers.
  • The human health categorisation volume of your chemical does not exceed 25 kg.
  • Your introduction is not for any consumer end use.
  • During introduction and use of your chemical, you will implement one or both control measures:
    1.    isolate the industrial chemical from any person who could be exposed to it
    2.    use engineering controls to eliminate or minimise exposure to people, including a mechanical device or process.
  • If people could still be exposed to the chemical even after implementing the control measures above, then you will implement other control measures to minimise potential exposure as far as reasonably practicable. This must include workers wearing suitable personal protective equipment that you provide.
  • You (the introducer) have full control of the industrial chemical.

See example below of a controlled introduction and use of a chemical that meets criteria for human health exposure band 1.

If you meet criteria for Scenario 2, your introduction is in exposure band 1 for human health. Next, choose between option 1 and option 2:

Option 1: The indicative risk of your introduction to human health is low risk. You can skip the remainder of step 4 and go to step 5 to work out your introduction’s risk to the environment. Once you have completed step 5, you will be able to work out your introduction category at step 6.

Option 2: You can choose to continue with the rest of step 4 to see if your introduction can be very low risk to human health. To do this, work through Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics, followed by step 4.5. You must then complete step 5 to work out your introduction’s risk to the environment.
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If your introduction is not scenario 2, go to the exposure band 2 criteria.


Exposure Band 2 criteria

Your introduction is in exposure band 2 if it is either Scenario 1 or Scenario 2:

Scenario 1

The human health categorisation volume of your chemical does not exceed 25kg.

Scenario 2

Your introduction must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The concentration of your chemical at introduction is less than 0.1 %.
  • The concentration is less than 0.1 % across all your introduction’s end uses.
  • The introduction has at least 1 consumer end use.    

If you meet criteria for either Scenario 1 or 2, your introduction is in exposure band 2 for human health – skip to Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics.

Otherwise, go to Exposure band 3 criteria.


Exposure band 3 criteria

Your introduction is in exposure band 3 if it is either Scenario 1 or Scenario 2:

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

You must meet all following criteria:

  • The concentration of your chemical at introduction is less than or equal to 1%.
  • The concentration is less than or equal to 1% across all your introduction’s end uses  .

If you meet criteria for Scenario 1 or 2, your introduction is in human health exposure band 3 – skip to Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics.

Otherwise, go Exposure band 4 criteria.


Exposure band 4 criteria

Your introduction is in exposure band 4 if it is either Scenario 1 or Scenario 2:

Scenario 1

Your chemical will have an end use in tattoo inks or personal vaporisers (‘vapes’).

Scenario 2

The human health categorisation volume for your introduction is greater than 100 kg.   

If you meet criteria for Scenario 1 or 2, your introduction is in human health exposure band 4 – next, go to Step 4.4: Work out your human health hazard characteristics.


What is a 'consumer end use'?

Consumer end use

Consumer end use means an end use involving making an industrial chemical available to the general public: 

  • on its own
  • in combination with one or more other industrial chemicals
  • as part of an article (other than where the industrial chemical undergoes a chemical change to produce the article). 

The following meet our definition of a consumer end use of an industrial chemical. 

  • Use of the industrial chemical in an inhabited residential building. 
  • Use that involves using the industrial chemical (either on its own or in combination with one or more other industrial chemicals) in an area that is accessible to the general public before the chemical has been rendered unavailable for human exposure. 

Example of a consumer end use  

Melbourne Residential Painters is importing paint which will be used to paint the hallways of an occupied residential strata complex. Residents will still live in the complex while the painting is done.  This means that chemicals in this paint have a ‘consumer end use’. 

Example – a consumer end use does not exist 

Glue Experts wants to import an industrial adhesive from the United States. The adhesive will only be used in factories and other industrial settings. The product will not be accessible to the general public at any time. This means that the  chemicals in this adhesive do not have a ‘consumer end use’. 

 

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