European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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11 August 2014

EU seminar outcome on reprotoxicants at work now online

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has recently made public on its website various documents relating to a seminar on workers' exposure to reproductive risks organized jointly with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety ANSES. Some 60 experts from the European Union Member States gathered to attend the seminar in Paris from 15 to 16 January 2014.

"While the issue of reproductive risks has largely been stigmatised on women, and mostly pregnant women, reprotoxicants can in fact affect both women's and men's reproductive health. Possible health outcomes on the reproductive system range from libido reduction to fertility reduction in women as well as in men, menstrual cycle troubles and hormonal troubles", indicates the EU-OSHA on its website.

The speakers insisted on the need for a precautionary approach in relation to the use of reprotoxic substances and proper workplace risk management.

Tony Musu was among the speakers. The ETUI expert on chemical risks recommended extending the scope of the European legislation on carcinogens and mutagens to substances harmful for the human reproductive system.

"The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive pushes for substitution and this is why reprotoxicants should be included in it", he said.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) wants the Directive extended to reprotoxicants. The EU employers’ lobby, Business Europe, is dead set against.

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