European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

News list


Social health inequalities top of the agenda at ETUI’s ‘Work and Cancer’ conference

‘Workplaces are not merely spaces where people work – they are spaces where people live their lives. Anything which would be prohibited on grounds of consumer health or environmental protection should also be prohibited in workplaces.’ These were the words with which Laurent Vogel, a researcher at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), closed the ‘Work and Cancer’ conference organised by the ETUI on 14 and 15 November in Brussels.

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Occupational cancers in the European Union cost €270-610 billion each year

On Tuesday 14 November, at the ‘Work and Cancer’ conference in Brussels, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) will present the results of a study on the costs of work-related cancer in the European Union. The cost is immense: between €270 and €610 billion each year, which represents 1.8% to 4.1% of the gross domestic product of the European Union.

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Poland: posters competition focused on young workers’ safety and health

Together with the Academies of Fine Arts, the Polish Central Institute for Labour Protection (CIOP-PIB) has been organising an annual poster contest since 1997 on occupational safety and health protection issues.

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Netherlands: Health Council proposes an occupational exposure limit for DEEEs

An occupational exposure limit (OEL) for diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) has been proposed in a document published by the Health Council of the Netherlands on 26 October 2017. Germany is likewise preparing to adopt an OEL, albeit a higher one than that being proposed by the Netherlands. The two countries will be the first EU Member States to impose a limit in the hope of reducing workers’ exposure to diesel emissions.

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Adoption of the first part of the revision of the Directive on work-related cancers

On 25 October 2017 the European Parliament approved the compromise negotiated with the Council of Ministers on the first phase of the revision of the Directive on carcinogens and mutagens at work.

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New data review highlights the major role of working conditions in breast cancers

On 2 September 2017, a review of data on the environmental causes of breast cancers was published in the journal Environmental Health. An all-female team of researchers reviewed more than 800 studies. They point out that, over the past eight years, a large amount of data has been collected on the role of environmental exposures in the occurrence of breast cancers.

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A new head for the ETUI Working Conditions, Health and Safety Unit

In early October 2017, Marian Schaapman was appointed head of the unit dealing with working conditions and health and safety issues within the ETUI research department.

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Firefighters absorb harmful chemicals through skin

A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa examined chemical exposure experienced by Ottawa Fire Service firefighters during on-shift, emergency fire operations between January 2015 and April 2016. The study, published on 18 October in Environmental Science & Technology, shows that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) levels were typically three to five times higher after a fire. For some firefighters, the increase was 60 times.

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Canada: Workplace exposures account for a significant number of cancers in Ontario

On 4 October 2017, the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) in Toronto has published a report on work-related cancer in Ontario. The study identified solar radiation, asbestos, diesel-engine exhaust and crystalline silica as the four major causes of work-related cancer in Canada’s most populous province.

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European Parliament rejects Commission proposal on endocrine disruptors

On 4 October, the European Parliament vetoed the Commission’s proposed criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors. A significant majority of MEPs believed that these criteria contravened EU law and posed a threat to public health and the environment (389 voted in favour of rejecting the criteria, while only 235 supported the European Commission). The Commission must now go back to the drawing board and draft a replacement proposal over the next few months.

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