European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

News list


New issue of HesaMag lifts the lid on work-related cancer

HesaMag 18 cover

Cancer kills 1.3m people in the European Union each year, but a staggering 100,000 of these deaths may be caused by workplace carcinogens, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The impact of cancer on workers is the focus of analysis in the latest issue of HesaMag, the ETUI’s magazine on working conditions, health and safety.

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Revision of the Carcinogens Directive: the European Parliament wants better protection for health workers from exposure to hazardous drugs

On 20 November the European Parliament’s Social Affairs Committee adopted amendments in the third revision of the Directive on the protection of workers from carcinogens and mutagens. The amendments were adopted with a majority of around 85 % and were the result of compromises negotiated between Parliament’s various political groups.

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Nail salons closed down in Brussels

Following controls of 19 nail salons in a shopping arcade in the centre of Brussels by various inspectorates on 15 November 2018, ten of them were closed for undeclared work or for employing foreign workers without a valid residence permit. Of the 68 workers controlled, 18 were undeclared and 12 had no residence permit. Two cases have been filed for human trafficking involving two 17-year-olds exploited by their employer, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office stated on Friday.

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France: Temporary workers more exposed to occupational risks than other workers

Temporary workers are more exposed to occupational risks than other workers. This finding stems from a new study conducted by DARES, the research and statistics department of the French Ministry of Employment. Temporary workers are greatly exposed to physical stress in their work, with 22% of them having to handle heavy loads for more than 20 hours a week, compared with 12% for the whole French workforce. However, the only physical exposures more present among temporary workers are repetitive work for more than ten hours a week (29% against 21% for the whole workforce), as well as vibrations of the upper limbs (arms, shoulders) (7% against 6%), these differences being significant, everything else being equal.

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Canada: alarming reports about breast cancer among customs workers

Reports of 10 to 20 or more cases of breast cancer among Ambassador Bridge workers has a University of Windsor researcher and the union representing customs workers calling for an investigation.

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Canada’s unions applaud asbestos ban regulations

Canada’s unions applaud the federal government for introducing regulations to ban the import, export, manufacture, sale and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products. The regulations, announced in December 2016 will come into force on December 30, 2018.

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Employers and unions call on Commission to include reprotoxicants in the Directive on carcinogens and mutagens at work

On 16 October the European chemical industry and trade unions agreed that European Union (EU) workers should be better protected from the risks related to exposure to reprotoxic substances. In a joint declaration, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the industriAll European Trade Union, the European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) called on the European Commission to extend the scope of the Directive on the protection of workers from carcinogens and mutagens to reprotoxic substances.

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REACH: NGO criticises poor quality of registration dossiers

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says that 32% of the chemicals made or imported into the European Union since 2010 in quantities exceeding 1 000 tonnes per year have breached the REACH regulations. This statement is based on a joint study by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR) and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

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Diesel emissions will fall under the scope of the Carcinogens directive. A victory for the workers’ movement

On 11 October, the European Parliament and the Council came to an agreement on the Commission's second proposal to broaden the list of recognised cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace. Eight additional substances will be covered by the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive, including diesel engines exhaust emission (DEEE) in workplaces. The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the announcement.

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2018 Prescrire Prize awarded to an ETUI publication

The ETUI was announced as one of the winners of the 2018 Prescrire Prize in Paris on Thursday, 4 October 2018 for its publication entitled ‘Endocrine disruptors: an occupational risk in need of recognition’. These awards have been given out every year since 1989 by the French journal Prescrire, renowned for its work on drug research and its independence from the pharmaceutical industry.

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