18 February 2019
Asthma , COPD

The third round of amendments on the Directive on Carcinogens and Mutagens at Work came to a close late January. The legislation seeks to impose obligatory occupational exposure limit values on dangerous substances that cause mutations or cancer to workers.

Five more dangerous substances added

In addition to the 20 substances covered already in the two previous legislative steps, the third amendment contains five more dangerous elements to health: cadmium, beryllium, formaldehyde and their inorganic compounds.

Besides cancer, high exposure to those chemicals can also cause a broad range of other significant health problems such as respiratory diseases. Moreover, formaldehyde and beryllium have been identified as skin and respiratory sensitizers.

This provisional agreement sets ‘new limits which are in line with new scientific and technical data and evidence-based practices for measuring exposure levels at work’, has communicated the Council of the European Union. Now the Council and the Parliament will formally endorse it in the coming months.

More information can be found in the Council of the European Union website.

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The EFA Team