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EU: European Commission proposes three new exposure limit values for carcinogenic chemicals
Planet Labor, 22 September 2020, n°12134 - www.planetlabor.com

EU Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work is undergoing its fourth revision. This time round, the European Commission is proposing to lower the existing exposure limit for benzene,  a substance to which nearly 1 million workers are exposed, and primarily in the petrochemicals, automotive, and metallurgy industries. Additionally, the European Commission is introducing two new  exposure limit values, one for acrylonitrile and the other for nickel compounds. The European Commission’s proposal is based on two consultation phases with the social partners and on the opinion of both the European Chemicals Agency’s Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL), and the Tripartite Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (the ACSH is a forum representing employers, workers and  EU Member States). The text, which has yet to be adopted by the EU Parliament and Council, will be followed up with a broader revision of the strategic framework for safety and health at work and a major European plan to combat cancer.