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Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Second proposal [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Nicole Scholz (2nd edition, updated on 5.12.2018),

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Second proposal

© elnavegante /

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing chemical agents. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal, submitted in May 2016, covered 13 priority chemical agents. The current (second) proposal addresses a further seven agents.

Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into both proposals. On the whole, trade unions and employers welcomed the current proposal. The European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted its report on 27 March 2018. Interinstitutional negotiations started on 27 May and agreement was reached on 11 October. As proposed by Parliament, diesel engine exhaust emissions were included in the scope of the directive, and a limit value of 0.05 mg/m3 was set. The agreed text is due to be voted in plenary in December 2018.

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Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work
Committee responsible: Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) COM(2017) 11
Rapporteur: Claude Rolin (EPP, Belgium) 2017/0004(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:




Marita Ulvskog (S&D, Sweden)
Anthea McIntyre (ECR, United Kingdom)
Enrique Calvet Chambon (ALDE, Spain)
Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL, France)
Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, France)
Laura Agea (EFDD, Italy)
Joëlle Mélin (ENF, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary

EU Legislation in progress timeline

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