Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Program


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 Extremely hazardous substances can be released due to accidental releases as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, fires, or accidents during transport, or as the result of terrorist actions. The Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) program provides crucial information to emergency response, emergency prepardeness, and homeland security personnel regarding adverse health effects and safe limits of short-term exposure should releases occur. AEGLs differ from other exposure limit values, such as permissible exposure limits (PELs), because AEGL values are based primarily on acute (short-term) toxicological data and do not reflect health effects that result from frequent or long-term exposures. AEGL values are used world-wide to guide emergency planning, prevention, and response regarding hazardous chemical releases.

At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense, the National Research Council (NRC) convenes a committee of experts to assess the documentation supporting AEGL values for scientific validity, completeness, and conformance to NRC guidelines. The committee reviews the available scientific evidence, reaches consensus, and issues a series of reports available on the web on final AEGL values. 

 The NRC AEGL website provides pertinent information regarding AEGLs development, describes the NRC involvement in the AEGLs program, and provides public acccess to published NRC reports containing AEGL values.