Protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work

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EMSK arvamus: Protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work

Key points


  • urges the Commission to carry out an impact assessment of a possible extension to the scope of application of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD) to substances which are toxic to reproduction.
  • strongly recommends that the revisions of the CMD and amendments planned for 2018 pay greater attention to occupational carcinogenic exposures affecting women.
  • considers it important for the Commission to improve upon a common methodology for the adoption of binding occupational exposure limit value (BOELs) in the CMD, in consultation with social partners, Member States and other stakeholders. BOELs must be defined on the basis of scientific and statistical evidence, taking into account different factors such as feasibility and the possibilities for measuring exposure levels. A risk-based approach is used in the Netherlands and Germany and helps to define BOELs by taking into account the level of risk as the primary determinant of a social compromise.
  • considers it necessary to set up programmes to propose life-long health surveillance for all persons that have been exposed to workplace carcinogens in the framework of national social security or public health systems.
  • stresses that Member States should ensure that labour inspectorates have sufficient financial and human resources to carry out their duties.
  • supports the common position of Europe's social partners and recommends that a BOEL be adopted for formaldehyde.
  • recommends that when establishing a legal definition of diesel engine exhausts (DEE), the Commission take into account the SCOEL finding regarding DEE.