At mid-June, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) reached an agreement on a proposal amending the 2004/37/EC directive concerning the protection of workers against risks related to exposure to carcinogenic or mutagenic agents during work.
The text aims to introduce stricter exposure limit values and “skin” observations for five carcinogenic agents, and a “skin” observation independent of the ELV for two other carcinogenic agents.
The carcinogenic and mutagenic substances referred to are mineral oils which have been used previously in internal combustion engines, certain mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, trichlorethylene, 4,4′-methylenedianiline, epichlorhydrin, ethylene dibromide and ethylene dichloride.
The limit values adopted are based on an analysis of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the various options considered for each chemical agent, on the scientific opinions of the Scientific Committee regarding the limits of occupational exposure to chemical agents, and on effectiveness, efficiency and consistency criteria. They were also approved by the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work.
According to the Council’s press release, “an additional set of limit values is expected to be adopted by the Commission early next year”.