New rules limit the professional exposure to cancer-causing substances in Europe

The European Commission has recently annonced its proposal to limit workers’ exposure to five cancer-causing chemicals, in addition to the 21 substances that have already been limited or proposed to be limited, estimating that these new restrictions would benefit over one million of workers in the European Union with a net balance of some 22.000 cases of work-related illness, including cancer, prevented.

The new exposure limits to be added in the “Carcinogens and mutagens” directive – that defines the maximum concentration of a cancer-causing chemical in the workplace air – will refer to: Cadmium and Beryllium (with their inorganic compounds), Arsenic acid and its salts,  (with its inorganic compounds), Formaldehyde and 4,4′-Methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline), or MOCA.

The new limits, based on scientific evidence, are the result of broad discussions with relevant stakeholders aiming at creating a “level playing field” for all businesses and a clear and common objective for employers, workers and enforcement authorities.

For more information                 

MEMO: Commission follows up on workers’ protection from cancer-causing chemicals: frequently asked questions on the third revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

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