Protective Action Criteria
Rev. 29, May 2016  

This site allows users to access the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) current data set of Protective Action Criteria (PAC) values in a variety of ways: as a searchable database, as an Excel file, and as a series of tables in PDF format. It also provides archived versions of the PACs for reference.

PAC values in the searchable database and tables correspond to Revision 29, published May 2016. This database provides information for 3,146 chemicals.

Emergency exposure limits are essential components of planning for the uncontrolled release of hazardous chemicals. These limits, combined with estimates of exposure, provide the information necessary to identify and evaluate accidents for the purpose of taking appropriate protective actions. During an emergency response to an uncontrolled release, these limits may be used to evaluate the severity of the event, to identify potential outcomes, and to decide what protective actions should be taken. In anticipation of an uncontrolled release, these limits may also be used to estimate the consequences of an uncontrolled release and to plan emergency responses.

DOE O 151.1C, Comprehensive Emergency Management System, and its supporting Guides require the use of Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) and Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPGs) as the emergency exposure limits of choice, in order of preference. Because AEGLs and ERPGs exist only for a limited number of chemicals, DOE also commissions the development of Temporary Emergency Exposure Limits (TEELs) so that DOE facilities may conduct Emergency Planning Hazard Assessments (EPHAs) and consequence assessments during response for chemicals lacking AEGLs or ERPGs. TEELs are temporary limits for chemicals until AEGLs or ERPGs are developed. Together, AEGLs, ERPGs, and TEELs are referred to as chemical Protective Action Criteria - PACs.

TEEL values are always subject to change, being replaced by AEGLs or ERPGs when new values are published, and many are updated annually when different exposure limits [e.g., Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs)] or new toxicity data are published. New chemicals for which TEEL values are derived are added at the same time.

PACs for emergency planning of chemical release events are based on the chemical exposure limit values provided in:

Final and interim Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs). AEGLs (see AEGL Standing Operating Procedures) are developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AEGLs are defined for five time periods: 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 4 hours, and 8 hours. The 60-minute AEGL values have been selected for use in the PAC database.

Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPGs). ERPGs are produced by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Emergency Response Planning Committee (see AIHA ERP Committee Procedures and Responsibilities).

Temporary Emergency Exposure Limit (TEEL) data sets. TEELs are developed by the DOE Office of Emergency Management (NA-41). The procedures for developing TEELs in Rev. 29 are described in DOE-HDBK-1046-2016, Temporary Emergency Exposure Limits: Methods and Practice.

Requests for chemical additions to the PAC dataset, questions related to the current PAC values, or any other comments are welcome. Please send your requests, questions, or comments to the PAC development team at or use the form provided on the SCAPA webpage (

Further information, including links to the PAC/TEEL Development Team, is provided at:

PAC Definitions
Search the PAC Database for AEGLs, ERPGs, and TEELs
PAC Data in Tabular Form (Excel and PDF files)
PAC Data Archives (Excel & PDF Files)
Acronyms and Abbreviations for the PAC Dataset



SCAPA Home | Chemical Mixture Methodology | DOE Chemical Safety