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5 July 2017

Carcinogens Directive as centrepiece of the ETUI’s Seminar on Chemicals

The 13th edition of the ETUI’s annual Seminar on Chemicals was held in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on 29 and 30 June 2017. It brought together some 40 trade unionists from 17 countries across the European Union. Revision of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive was at the heart of the discussions.

A particular focus of debate was the current stalemate between the co-legislators. One of the negotiators from the European Parliament (EP) was invited to give an update on the compromises that might be reached with the Council of the European Union with regard to the initial list of carcinogens proposed by the European Commission in May 2016.

The Council and the European Parliament cannot agree on a number of binding occupational exposure limit values (BOELVs).

The Seminar, organised in cooperation with the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS), also provided the opportunity for coordinating trade union action on the further list of carcinogens proposed by the Commission in January 2017. Representatives from the Ministry of Labour in both France and Germany showcased the systems established in their respective countries for developing BOELVs.

In the final address, an expert from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) reported on the implementation of the REACH and CLP – classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals and mixtures – Regulations. Her colleague from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) briefed the participants on preparations for the 2018-2019 European campaign to combat the risks of dangerous substances at work.

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