Proposals to limit workers' exposure to more carcinogens

18th May 2018

Proposals to limit workers' exposure to more carcinogens

The European Commission plans to add exposure limit values for five more carcinogenic substances to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (EC Directive 2004/37). The substances in question are:

  • cadmium and its inorganic compounds
  • beryllium and inorganic beryllium compounds
  • arsenic acid and its salts, and inorganic arsenic compounds
  • formaldehyde
  • 4,4'-Methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA)

The first three substances are extensively used in sectors such as nickel-cadmium battery manufacture, mechanical plating, zinc and copper smelting, foundries, glass, laboratories, electronics, chemicals, construction, healthcare, plastics and recycling. The European Commission aims to reduce not only cancers arising from exposure to these substances, but also other serious occupational diseases, such as chronic beryllium disease. It estimates that the change will prevent around 22,000 cases of work-related illness across the EU. 

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