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Parliamentary questions
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25 February 2020
 E-003992/2019
Answer given by Mr Schmit
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003992/2019

Directive 83/477/EEC(1) has been repealed and replaced by Directive 2009/148/EC(2), which aims to protect workers against risks to their health arising from exposure to asbestos at work. The directive makes no provision concerning compensation in relation to exposure to asbestos.

Commission Recommendation 2003/670/EC(3) recommends that Member States introduce, in their national legal order, provisions concerning scientifically recognised occupational diseases liable for compensation. A number of occupational diseases related to exposure to asbestos, as for instance silicosis, asbestosis and mesothelioma are, among others, specifically mentioned in Annex I thereof.

Recommendations are non-binding instruments. The determination of the procedure for the recognition of occupational diseases and the compensation to be paid in relation to occupational diseases are matters for which the Member States have sole competence.

The Commission is not aware of specific national laws providing for compensation in relation to occupational exposure to asbestos.

The Commission has requested the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to carry out a scientific evaluation to review the current Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for asbestos, including where appropriate a review of proposals for OEL(s) and an assessment of whether a differentiated limit value may be appropriate for the different types of asbestos fibres.

(1)Council Directive 83/477/EEC of 19 September 1983 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (OJ L 263, 24.9.1983, p. 25)
(2)Directive 2009/148/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (OJ L 330, 16.12.2009, p. 28)
(3)Commission Recommendation of 19 September 2003 concerning the European schedule of occupational diseases, Official Journal L 238 , 25/09/2003 P. 0028.
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