Ceiling Exposure Value (CEV)

Last updated: September 16, 2018

What Does Ceiling Exposure Value (CEV) Mean?

A ceiling exposure value (CEV) is the maximum level of an airborne contaminant to which an employee may be exposed. This value may vary depending on the jurisdiction a company is located within. A CEV may be assigned to any airborne agent whether chemical, biological, or physical. Ceiling values are imposed without time limitations. Therefor, employees must be protected from exposure to the CEV at all times. Not even a temporary exposure at the stated level is permitted. Individuals working in areas where a contaminant's concentration is at or above the CEV must wear personal protective gear to protect them from inhaling the substance.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Ceiling Exposure Value (CEV)

Occupational health and safety agencies in various jurisdictions have created lists of specific chemicals and other hazards to which exposure in the workplace should be limited. In the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is tasked with compiling this list. NIOSH also determines what, if any, level of exposure for select substances may be permitted in the workplace.

These levels are referred to as permissible exposure levels (PELs). Those contaminants for which a PEL exists are listed in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations General Industry Air Contaminants Standard. Contaminant exposure levels with a "C" designation indicate that the substance has a ceiling level above which any exposure is considered unsafe. The same contaminant may have more than one type of exposure designation depending on the concentration of the contaminant. For instance, a chemical may be completely unsafe at an exposure level of 50 parts per million but exposure for a limited period may be permitted when the level is 25 parts per million.


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