Every year, more than 100,000 people in Europe die from work-related cancers. Today, MEPs will approve an agreement struck with the Member States to strengthen the rules concerning carcinogens and mutagens at work. Claude Rolin MEP negotiated this revision on behalf of the EPP Group.
Rolin said: “We’ve been waiting for more stringent European rules for 10 years now. This revision will ensure the better protection of all EU workers. The European Parliament has taken the original proposal’s ambitions to a whole new level by calling for a thorough medical follow-up of workers’ health, even after the end of their career. As symptoms often do not occur until a couple of years after exposure, a timely response is of the utmost importance.”
The revision will be conducted in several phases. Claude Rolin will be the EP’s main negotiator during the second phase. Rolin added: “Our work is not done. Now, we need to look to our social partners and together work out a step-by-step approach to ensure better protection and provide the necessary preventive measures in work environments. Workers need to know how to handle hazardous substances safely. In this situation, knowledge is key. We need to take every new research development into account and limit our workers’ exposure to hazardous substances to the absolute minimum.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 27 Member States
The new EU Directive will set limit values for 11 additional carcinogens and reviews the limit values for 2 substances already included in the 2004 Directive.
- Hardwood dust: the EP demands to lower the limit for work-related exposure to 2mg/m3 (preceded by a transition period of 5 years, during which a limit value of 3mg/m3 will be in place).
- Chromium IV: new limit value of 0.005mg/m3 (a transition period of 5 years with a limit value of 0.010mg/m3 and an exception for sectors in which a limit value of 0.25mg/m3 is in place).
- Respirable Crystalline silica dust: the EP asks the Commission to review the limit value of 0.1mg/m3 during the evaluation of the Directive’s scope.