Community news|28/02/24

Lead and diisocyanates: Council approves new limit values

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > Lead and diisocyanates: Council approves new limit values

With today’s adoption, the EU new directive is reducing by a factor of five the limit values for occupational exposure to lead and its compounds, which are toxic to reproduction and can damage the nervous system, among other things. It is also the first European legislation to set limit values for diiosocyanates, to which 4.2 million workers are exposed and which can cause asthma and skin diseases.

For lead, the Directive sets the occupational exposure limit value at 0.03 mg/m3 (compared to 0.15 mg/m3 at present) and the biological limit value at 15µg/100ml (30µg/100ml by 2028) instead of 70 micrograms per 100 millilitres of blood (70µg/100ml). Workers with elevated blood lead levels due to exposure prior to the implementation of this Directive will be subject to regular medical surveillance. And lower limits (4.5µg/100ml) will apply to workers of childbearing age.

For diisocyanates, the Directive introduces a total occupational exposure limit value of 6 µg NCO/m3 (10 µg/m3 until 2028) and a short-term exposure limit value of 12 µg NCO/m3 (20 µg/m3 until 2028).

The Directive will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. It amends Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances at work and Directive 98/24/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work.

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