What is the difference in meaning between "limit to" and "limit on".

A report of some sentences that I found on Google book follows:

Limit to

  • It may be noted that the annual limit to the eye lens (150 mSv) is related directly to the threshold dose for cataracts (approximately 5Sv)
  • Hence, the static method represents the lower limit to the true ultimate load and has a maximum factor of safety
  • These reductions were attributed to an intervention in the normal course of events which was identified as the reduction of the speed limit to 55 mph

Limit on

  • (B) Replacing the plan's previous annual limit on mental health benefits with a $500,000 annual limit on all benefits (including medical/surgical and mental health benefits);
  • The limit on bank guarantees was removed and fully delegated to commercial banks

It's the difference between the actual limit, and what is limited:

The limit on loans was changed to 5,000 - you have a limit on loans, and the limit changed to 5,000... Likewise there is a limit on speed, it's limited to 55mph...

Sometimes, like the first example, it's less obvious, & I suspect you just have know how it's working in the sentence - the limit is on the radiation exposure permitted, & it's limited to 150mSv.

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