25 October 2017
Each year 100,000 people die as a result of occupational cancer, making this the leading cause of work-related deaths in the EU.  Addressing this crisis, the European Parliament today voted on the final agreement on the revision to the directive on limiting exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Employment Committee, said:
“Workplaces have to be safe, not just from physical hazards but from exposure to toxic substances. It is great that this directive is being brought up to speed, which will help to save lives across the EU.
“Diseases often develop many years after the exposure to toxic substances. That’s why it is so important that medical provision can now be extended until after the end of the exposure.
“We have long demanded that the European Commission assess the need to include substances that affect reproduction in EU legislation and we are delighted that they have now committed to doing this before spring 2019.”
The key changes under the revision are:
- Lower occupational exposure limits for chromium VI and hard wood dust.
- An extension of medical supervision until after the end of exposure, as there is evidence that diseases often develop many years later.
- The Commission must assess the need to include reprotoxins, which can affect reproduction, in the directive by the first quarter of 2019.