18

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Policy area
Author
Keyword
Date

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Third proposal

18-02-2019

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three ...

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three proposals. Reacting to the Commission’s set of measures as a whole, trade unions have acknowledged the importance of further improving the existing framework. Actors on the employers’ side have underlined the need to ensure that values are proportionate and feasible in terms of technical implementation. Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee voted its report on 20 November 2018. It includes the call to bring cytotoxic medicines, which are used in the treatment of cancer, within the scope of the directive, as well as to grant incentives to businesses that comply. Council agreed on its position on 6 December 2018. Trilogue negotiations gave rise to a provisional agreement in January 2019. Once endorsed by the Council, it will be voted in Parliament’s plenary. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens: Third proposal

17-12-2018

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research ...

This detailed appraisal focuses on the process and evidence base used in the IA for setting the limit values for cadmium and beryllium, notably in light of some knowledge gaps and methodological challenges identified in the IA in relation to the number of workers exposed and the estimation of the burden of disease. The appraisal concludes that the IA has relied on a vast and updated amount of information, including scientific journals, guidelines, manuals, surveys, published by authoritative research centres, publishers and international organisations, making the overall analysis sufficiently convincing and robust. As regards the limitations of the analysis, which are transparently acknowledged, the analysis carried out by the external contractors and endorsed in the IA recognises that the full current and future disease burden deriving from historic exposures to cadmium and beryllium is not captured; consequently, the disease burdens may be underestimated. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to cadmium, the value of 10 000 workers considered by the external contractors for their modelling (in addition to a higher value of 30 000), and taken over in the IA, is coherently justified in light of the recognised wide divergences among the different estimates. This value appears to be reasonable, based on the availability of data at national and EU level, and the way some of them were gathered. As regards the estimated number of workers exposed to beryllium, the figure of 54 071 workers exposed in the EU 28 (excluding the construction sector) identified by the external contractor and used in the IA appears to be plausible, based on the justifications provided. However, it is acknowledged that higher exposure levels would imply higher costs and benefits at all target OEL values.

Resource efficiency and the circular economy

01-04-2018

Past and current patterns of resource use have led to high pollution levels, environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources. EU waste policy has a long history and has traditionally focused on more environmentally sustainable waste management. The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and the Circular Economy package should change this trend, by transforming the EU’s economy into a sustainable one by 2050. The four new directives on waste in the recent Circular Economy package ...

Past and current patterns of resource use have led to high pollution levels, environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources. EU waste policy has a long history and has traditionally focused on more environmentally sustainable waste management. The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and the Circular Economy package should change this trend, by transforming the EU’s economy into a sustainable one by 2050. The four new directives on waste in the recent Circular Economy package introduce new waste management targets regarding prevention, reuse, recycling and landfilling.

Research for TRAN Committee - Battery-powered electric vehicles: market development and lifecycle emissions

15-02-2018

As 2018 gets under way, there are probably more than three million electric cars in circulation in the world. There are also more than six hundred million electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Plus a few hundred thousand electric buses and other types of quadricycles having an electric motor. The first part of this paper traces the fast evolving market of electric road vehicles. The second part shows that the production of hundreds of millions of battery packs requires a lot of energy and plenty ...

As 2018 gets under way, there are probably more than three million electric cars in circulation in the world. There are also more than six hundred million electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles. Plus a few hundred thousand electric buses and other types of quadricycles having an electric motor. The first part of this paper traces the fast evolving market of electric road vehicles. The second part shows that the production of hundreds of millions of battery packs requires a lot of energy and plenty of scarce resources, which affects the real impact of electric vehicles on the climate and the environment and make it necessary to consider the recovery and recycling of used batteries.

External author

Linda Ager-Wick ELLINGSEN, Christine Roxanne HUNG

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work

22-01-2018

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers' health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for economic operators. Overall, the proposal received a broad welcome from stakeholders. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in ...

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer-causing chemical agents. According to the Commission, this would improve workers' health protection, increase the effectiveness of the EU framework and promote clarity for economic operators. Overall, the proposal received a broad welcome from stakeholders. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 12 December 2017. The directive applies as from 16 January 2018.

Key issues at stake at COP1 on the Minamata Convention, Geneva, 24–29 September 2017

14-09-2017

• The Minamata Convention has been welcomed as a major step in the fight against mercury related health hazards. During COP1, Parties will discuss several topics of the agreement, debate amendments and adopt Articles or guidance. The public and private sector are encouraging Parties to take concrete actions during COP1. • The issue of effectiveness evaluation must be monitored closely as it will set the foundation for the future. Defining common methods and monitoring tools will be essential when ...

• The Minamata Convention has been welcomed as a major step in the fight against mercury related health hazards. During COP1, Parties will discuss several topics of the agreement, debate amendments and adopt Articles or guidance. The public and private sector are encouraging Parties to take concrete actions during COP1. • The issue of effectiveness evaluation must be monitored closely as it will set the foundation for the future. Defining common methods and monitoring tools will be essential when it comes to assessing the concrete impact of the Convention. • Guidance on mercury supply sources and trade will be adopted with the aim of phasing out the use of mercury products. Most of the world resources are localised in a few countries, therefore finding alternatives for these Parties will be of high importance. • Artisanal and small scale gold mining is often an illegal activity, which is hard to monitor and impacts the local environment. The guidance to be adopted will have to consider the reality of the communities concerned and associated ethical issues. • In regard to mercury emissions and releases, best practices and guidelines have been developed for countries to better develop inventories and set National Action Plans. A special focus is provided on open burning practices, which are currently poorly characterised despite their negative environmental impact. • One of the key challenges of the COP1 will be to agree on harmonised thresholds for the definition of contaminated sites and mercury waste, which should be based on experience sharing.

External author

Marion Planchon

European Chemicals Agency: Role and governance

29-08-2017

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is a decentralised agency of the European Union. Established in 2007, it is based in Helsinki. Its main mission is to contribute to the implementation of European chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment, as well as improving innovation and competitiveness. ECHA carries out technical, scientific and administrative tasks under four EU regulations: the regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals ...

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is a decentralised agency of the European Union. Established in 2007, it is based in Helsinki. Its main mission is to contribute to the implementation of European chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment, as well as improving innovation and competitiveness. ECHA carries out technical, scientific and administrative tasks under four EU regulations: the regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH); the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation; the Biocidal Products Regulation; and the regulation on export and import of hazardous chemicals. It may also initiate regulatory processes and take limited regulatory decisions under these regulations. ECHA comprises a number of bodies active on specific aspects. These include the Member State Committee which is involved in key processes under REACH, three advisory scientific bodies (Committee for Risk Assessment, Committee for Socio-economic analysis and Biocidal Products Committee), a Forum aimed at strengthening enforcement, a Board of Appeal deciding on appeals against decisions taken by the ECHA, and a Management Board, which acts as the Agency's governing body. These bodies are supported by a secretariat employing 564 staff at the end of 2016. ECHA's annual budget, which is about €110 million, has two main sources: a subsidy from the EU budget, and fees levied on companies for services carried out under the four relevant regulations. In 2016, fees and charges accounted for 46 % of expenditure. An evaluation carried out for the European Commission in 2017 found that the ECHA carries out its work effectively and efficiently, is relevant to societal needs and brings EU added value, although the evaluation also highlighted some areas where there is room for improvement, for instance regarding IT and communication.

Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

04-04-2017

The IA defines in a clear way the problems and the objectives of the proposed initiative, and is based on extensive research conducted by external contractors. However, it omits to explain the sequential process and the underlying assumptions leading to the identification of the four problems analysed, mentioning only the supporting studies. Also, it contains some discrepancies with respect to the supporting studies in terms of terminology and recommendations which are not explained in the IA. A ...

The IA defines in a clear way the problems and the objectives of the proposed initiative, and is based on extensive research conducted by external contractors. However, it omits to explain the sequential process and the underlying assumptions leading to the identification of the four problems analysed, mentioning only the supporting studies. Also, it contains some discrepancies with respect to the supporting studies in terms of terminology and recommendations which are not explained in the IA. A broad range of stakeholders provided valuable data and information that were used in the IA, even though only 40 (out of 300) provided comments and suggestions. The IA seems to make a reasonable case for the preferred options, which are reflected in the legislative proposal, intending to amend four articles of RoHS 2. However, one of these amendments has been proposed without a clear explanation being provided in the IA. The analysis of competitiveness of SMEs appears to be, in general, insufficiently developed or explained.

Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC

10-01-2017

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality ...

In the aftermath of two major accidents involving the spill of hazardous extractive waste, the Mining Waste Directive 2006/21/EC was adopted at EU level with the aim to prevent, or reduce as far as possible, the adverse effects from extractive waste management on health and the environment. The deadline for transposition of the directive by the Member States expired on 1 May 2008. Research indicates that all Member States (EU-27) have experienced transposition problems in terms of 'timing' or 'quality' or both. It appears that the majority of Member States have adopted the measures needed to implement the provisions of the directive, but the practical implementation of some aspects remains problematic. The quality of available data does not allow for the complete picture of practical implementation of the directive to be fully outlined and assessed. While EU legislation on the management of extractive waste is still relevant to real needs, the levels of effectiveness and efficiency across the EU may vary from one Member State to another. This European Implementation Assessment, which is intended to support the Implementation Report being prepared by European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, makes recommendations for action aimed at improving the identified shortcomings. The study also sheds light on the prospects for extractive waste management in the context of the 'circular economy' concept.

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

25-10-2016

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides ...

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides for the storage of mercury waste, restricts the use of mercury in various products and seeks to address pollution caused by it. However, there are some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. The European Commission has recently submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. The European Parliament's Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 13 October 2016. Interinstitutional negotiations are expected to start in November. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

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