European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Accueil > Topics > Health & Safety - working conditions > News list > Adoption of the first part of the revision of the Directi...

News list

6 November 2017

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.

This vote means that the text is now adopted. It must be transposed into the national legislations of the EU Member States by 2019. It is a significant step forward in comparison to the minimalist legislative proposal put forward by the Commission in May 2016.

The positive elements are: (1) A reduction in the occupational exposure limit values initially proposed for hexavalent chromium and hardwood dusts; (2) The principle of health surveillance of workers exposed to carcinogenic agents is introduced in the Directive. Given that most cancers appear several years after exposure, this should help to save numerous lives; (3) The Commission will consider including in the scope of the Directive, no later than 2019, substances that are toxic to reproduction.

However, the compromise did not make any significant progress on crystalline silica, in comparison to the Commission’s initial proposals. The limit value of 0.1 mg/m3 remains unchanged. In its next five-year report on the application of the Directive, the Commission will examine whether or not this limit value needs to be reduced.

The second phase is under way, with a proposal put forward by the Commission in January 2017 on five new limit values. The third phase is due to begin in early 2018.

All news