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

15-03-2019

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 chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. The current (second) proposal addresses a further seven agents. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into both proposals. On the whole, trade ...

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 chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. The current (second) proposal addresses a further seven agents. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into both proposals. On the whole, trade unions and employers welcomed the current proposal. Trilogue agreement was reached on 11 October 2018. As proposed by the European Parliament, diesel engine exhaust emissions were included in the scope of the directive. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed by the presidents of the co-legislators on 16 January 2019. Directive (EU) 2019/130 entered into force on 20 February 2019 and is to be transposed into national laws within two years, by 20 February 2021 at the latest. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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.

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.

Protection of workers from carcinogens or mutagens at work: Exposure limit values

23-10-2017

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive, CMD) by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for 13 cancer- and mutation-causing chemicals. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary.

The European Commission proposes to amend Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive, CMD) by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for 13 cancer- and mutation-causing chemicals. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary.

Parliament rejects criteria for endocrine disruptors

12-10-2017

On 4 October 2017, the European Parliament voted to object to the European Commission's draft regulation setting out criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the area of plant protection products (PPPs). The vote followed the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) backing a motion for resolution to reject the criteria. The Commission says it needs now to reflect on the next steps to take.

On 4 October 2017, the European Parliament voted to object to the European Commission's draft regulation setting out criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the area of plant protection products (PPPs). The vote followed the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) backing a motion for resolution to reject the criteria. The Commission says it needs now to reflect on the next steps to take.

Agreement on criteria for endocrine disruptors

11-07-2017

On 4 July 2017, the European Commission's Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC PAFF), made up of experts from the EU Member States, voted on the Commission's draft regulation setting out criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the area of plant protection products (PPPs). The vote was preceded by several meetings in which the Commission presented revised versions of its drafts. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU now have three months to examine the agreed ...

On 4 July 2017, the European Commission's Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC PAFF), made up of experts from the EU Member States, voted on the Commission's draft regulation setting out criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the area of plant protection products (PPPs). The vote was preceded by several meetings in which the Commission presented revised versions of its drafts. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU now have three months to examine the agreed text.

EU’s Pesticide Risk Assessment System: The Case of Glyphosate

15-09-2016

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the environmental effects of glyphosate on biodiversity was also given. Moreover, the status of the precautionary principle, a legal principle which underpins the use of this substance, was discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the challenges and options based on the available research and evidence. The different findings of the IARC and EFSA were presented. In particular, the different methods of the evaluation, as well as the difference between hazard assessment and risk assessment, were covered during this session. Furthermore, the ongoing ECHA’s evaluation of glyphosate, which is being carried out under the CLP Regulation, was illustrated. Finally, the perspectives from civil society and doctors were also taken into account. While the divergences during the sessions showed how polarised the issue is, it was outlined that a decision on the glyphosate matter would be crucial in order to bring to an end a situation of uncertainty. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Yoline KUIPERS CAVACO, Matteo MASCOLO, Alicia McNEILL and Rachel DEMPSEY

Protection of workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens

18-07-2016

Overall, the Commission appears to have provided sound reasoning and justification for the initiative. The methodology used to compare the scope of impacts is well-developed, but the proposed range of options limits the scope of the analysis. As Option 3 is barely considered, and Option 4 does not seem to be consistent with the objectives, the added value of these options is not evident. Moreover, both the IA and the Explanatory Memorandum of the proposal are not explicit about the preferred option ...

Overall, the Commission appears to have provided sound reasoning and justification for the initiative. The methodology used to compare the scope of impacts is well-developed, but the proposed range of options limits the scope of the analysis. As Option 3 is barely considered, and Option 4 does not seem to be consistent with the objectives, the added value of these options is not evident. Moreover, both the IA and the Explanatory Memorandum of the proposal are not explicit about the preferred option. More information on the consultation with SCOEL and ACSH would have been welcomed in order to understand the way in which the OELs were set. Finally, it is not entirely clear why the Commission has come forward with this proposal before the ex-post evaluation of the OSH Framework undertaken within the remit of REFIT has been completed. Indeed, including the results of the ex-post evaluation in the IA might have strengthened the Commission’s evidence base as well as further clarified the monitoring and evaluation arrangements and the interaction between the various pieces of legislation under the OSH Framework.      

Exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work

03-06-2016

Despite wide-ranging European legislation, not all substances that can increase the risk of occupational cancers are necessarily covered by existing pieces of legislation. Various studies point to a continuous increase in cancers attributable to working conditions and to a need to improve the protection of workers. Although Directive 2007/34 is the main legislative act setting the standards for the protection of workers against work-related cancers, several studies and stakeholders have called for ...

Despite wide-ranging European legislation, not all substances that can increase the risk of occupational cancers are necessarily covered by existing pieces of legislation. Various studies point to a continuous increase in cancers attributable to working conditions and to a need to improve the protection of workers. Although Directive 2007/34 is the main legislative act setting the standards for the protection of workers against work-related cancers, several studies and stakeholders have called for the scope of the directive to be broadened by adding chemical substances that were not originally covered by the directive, thus decreasing workers' exposure to them. Similarly, Parliament has on numerous occasions asked the Commission to amend the existing legislation on the prevention of work-related cancers and to increase workers' protection against occupational diseases, including cancer. Although the May 2016 Commission proposal intends to increase the protection of workers by broadening of the scope of Directive 2007/34 by setting exposure limit values for 13 additional chemical substances, there are still various substances that are not included on the list and that can potentially have an adverse impact on the health of workers. The European Commission has promised to conduct a further impact assessment for the additional 12 chemical substances by the end of 2016. These subsequent actions may lead to future legislative proposals updating the existing legislation.

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Demographic Outlook for the EU in 2020: Understanding population trends in the EU
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Has the EU become a regulatory superpower? How it's rules are shaping global markets
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