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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Green MEP celebrates new limits on exposure to toxic substances at work

11 July 2017

The European Council and Parliament have come to an agreement on the first of a series of proposals to limit exposure to various carcinogens and mutagens at work. [1]

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and the Greens/EFA coordinator for the Parliament’s Employment Committee says:

“Every year, 100,000 people die as a result of an occupational cancer. It is vitally important that greater steps are taken to reduce workers exposure to harmful substances.

This directive extends medical supervision until after the end of the exposure. This is a major step forward, as it has been sadly demonstrated that diseases often develop many years after exposure to toxic substances.

We are pleased to see ambitious limit levels for Chromium VI and hard wood dust, in spite of the Council’s opposition. It’s a pity that Member States were not willing to improve protection against crystalline silica. The longstanding Green demand to acknowledge the danger by reprotoxic substances will now be taken up by the Commission.

This agreement has to be followed by an equally ambitious proposal on the second strand. The strong and united position of the European Parliament negotiators has brought in concrete improvements for the concerned workers. We will continue in this spirit for the second strand in the coming months.”