The German Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area has re‐evaluated oleic acid, which was classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans in Carcinogen Category 3A, to derive a maximum concentration at the workplace (MAK value), considering genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. Oleic acid is irritating to the skin if applied repeatedly. It is not mutagenic in vitro; data in vivo are not available. Oleic acid showed skin tumour promoting activity in mice after initiation with 9,10‐dimethylbenzanthracene but not without initiation. In a general evaluation of the skin tumour initiation‐promotion test in mice published in 2015, the Commission concluded that substances which induce skin tumours only after initiation, but not without initiation, do not have to be classified in a carcinogen category. Therefore, the former classification of oleic acid is withdrawn. As it is not possible to derive a MAK value with the available data, oleic acid is assigned to Section II b of the List of MAK and BAT values.