Unit Exposure to Chemicals and Transport of Dangerous Goods

The "Exposure to Chemicals" division produces exposure assessments to assess the risks of chemicals as part of the implementation of the REACH Regulation. The division handles all issues related to the exposure of consumers to chemicals through the use of products. Consumer exposure is mainly estimated by using and developing calculation methods (models). Because real measured exposure data is often unavailable, this is done using standardised assumptions; research and development projects are also designed and executed to refine the database (e.g. measured values or data on consumer behaviour). The Unit is involved in the development of European and international standards (e.g. standardised exposure scenarios) and guidelines, and contributes its expertise to the further development of regulations and the legislation. 

The "Transport of Dangerous Goods" division provides the expertise of the BfR on issues such as health protection during the transport of dangerous goods. The BfR advises the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) on topics including the further development of the United Nations guidelines on the transport of dangerous goods and the implementation of UN recommendations in European and national regulations for different modes of transport. The advice also covers the development of criteria for the classification of dangerous goods and aspects of the transport of bulk cargo by sea. The BfR is involved in the national prevention of shipping incidents and the further development of first aid and emergency procedures on ocean-going vessels that transport dangerous goods. The requirements concerning the treatment of ballast water on ships are based on an international convention that involves an international approval process which the BfR is involved in.

Focus of work

  • exposure assessments to assess the risks of chemicals as part of the implementation of the REACH Regulation
  • refinement of data for exposure assessments and further scientific development
  • probabilistic exposure modelling and further development of models
  • implementation of exposure models in regulations and legal processes
  • development of standards for scenarios, models and parameters to assess exposure in REACH processes
  • planning, arranging and evaluating scientific studies on consumer behaviour and product information
  • handling methodical aspects of modelling exposure to substances in consumer products
  • dialogue with the German federal states ("Laender") on issues related to chemical safety in German Federal/State Committees on Chemical Safety
  • carrying out duties as an agency for safety concerning health-related issues during the transport of dangerous goods (enforcement functions)
  • toxicological assessment and classification of dangerous goods
  • developing the UN model regulations on the transport of dangerous goods further
  • advising the Ministry of Transport on the implementation of UN model regulations in provisions on modes of transportassessing health-related aspects of the transport of dangerous goods (road, rail, air, waterways, sea)
  • carrying out duties as the competent standards agency related to the granting of trilateral agreements for dry and liquid bulk cargoes
  • giving advice on the implementation of the ballast water management convention
  • carrying out duties as the competent standards agency related to the granting of permits (enforcement of the ballast water act)
  • giving advice on health concerns in the event of shipping incidents involving ocean-going vessels
  • further development of recommendations and guidelines for emergencies and accidents on ships

Participating in national and international research projects

The Unit is involved in planning, carrying out and evaluating studies to collect data for estimating consumer exposure and modelling the dispersal of hazardous substances following accidents involving dangerous goods.


Visitors' address
Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10
D - 10589 Berlin

Postal address
PO Box 12 69 42
D - 10609 Berlin




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