Maximum Use Concentration

Last updated: October 17, 2016

What Does Maximum Use Concentration Mean?

Maximum use concentration (MUC) refers to the maximum concentration of atmospheric pollutants that an employee will be protected from when using a specific class of respirator. In order to calculate the MUC, the assigned protection factor for the mask or respirator is multiplied by the permissible OSHA exposure limit. If this information is not available, workplace health and safety experts must use their professional judgement and motivate their estimation of the MUC.

Safeopedia Explains Maximum Use Concentration

Manufacturers are able to recommend appropriate cartridges that will provide effective respiratory protection in various circumstances, and approved manufacturers should be consulted when selecting respirator cartridges for specific applications and types of vapour exposure. Certain organic vapours contain odour warnings, so that workers can determine whether they are being exposed to contaminants, but this is not always the case.

MUC parameters are not applicable for concentrations that are immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). When MUC exceeds IDLH, MUC is used as the lower limit and IDLH as the maximum.


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