For 75 years, the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances (TLV®-CS) Committee has taken a leading role in making work environments safe and healthy for workers worldwide. It is a mission that has helped to define ACGIH®.

Today, the TLV®-CS Committee has emerged as the best known of ACGIH®’s scientific committees. Established in 1941, this group was charged with investigating, recommending, and annually reviewing exposure limits for chemical substances. It became a standing committee in 1944. Two years later, the organization adopted its first list of 148 exposure limits, then referred to as Maximum Allowable Concentrations. The term “Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®)” was introduced in 1956. The first edition of Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values was published in 1962 and is now in its seventh edition. Today’s list of TLVs® includes over 700 chemical substances.

The TLV®-CS Committee operates under the administrative policies and procedures approved by the ACGIH® Board of Directors. The Committee is appointed by the ACGIH® Board of Directors to develop occupational exposure guidelines for chemical substances. The issuance of Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) and their supporting Documentation is the principal mechanism for the dissemination of these guidelines, although the Committee may also develop more general positions, instructional materials, educational media, or topical symposia to focus on issues of concern. This Committee’s vision is to be a respected, worldwide leader in the development and dissemination of health-based occupational exposure guidelines.

Specifically, the mission of the TLV®-CS Committee is to recommend airborne concentrations of agents and exposure conditions for use in the practice of industrial hygiene and by other qualified professionals to protect worker health. The charge of the TLV®-CS Committee is to develop and disseminate occupational exposure guidelines (i.e., TLVs®). TLVs® are based on the best available data and, whenever possible, peer reviewed literature on human health effects resulting from industrial, occupational or other exposure situations; from experimental human and animal studies; human epidemiological studies; and when possible, from a combination of all these sources. The goal of the Committee is to develop occupational exposure guidelines for chemical substances that are:

• Scientifically credible

• Leading edge

• Well-supported (i.e., TLVs® are based on ACGIH®’s review of “peer-reviewed scientific literature”)

• Scientifically valid

• Reliable

• Understandable and clear

• Produced with a balanced, unbiased and clearly-defined process

“Serving on the TLV®-CS Committee has always been considered a privilege. It is a voluntary activity of extremely busy and competent professionals with expertise in a range of scientific areas who contribute to international worker health and safety and the development of OELs,” said TLV®-CS Committee Chair Terry Gordon.

 In celebrating 75 years of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances (TLV®-CS) Committee, and the men and women who have carried on its traditions, the ACGIH® Board of Directors, its Members, Staff and workers everywhere salute this Committee for continuing to define the science of occupational and environmental health and making workplaces safe and healthier for workers worldwide.

  ACGIH® is a member-based organization that advances occupational and environmental health. ACGIH® is one of the industry’s leading publications resources, with approximately 400 titles relative to occupational and environmental health and safety, including the renowned TLVs® and BEIs®.  For more information, visit the ACGIH® website at or call our Customer Service Representatives at 513-742-2020.