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

Written by Nicole Scholz (1st edition),

Serious health hazard

Serious health hazard

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 and has now become a continuous process. Following on from three previous legislative amendments, which covered a total of 26 priority chemical agents, the present (fourth) proposal addresses an additional three.

The proposal was announced as one of the first measures of the Commission’s commitment to fight cancer under the forthcoming Europe’s Beating Cancer plan.

Broad discussions with scientists and social partners fed into all four proposals. The Commission’s feedback period on the proposal will run until 20 November 2020. While broadly welcoming the proposal, professional organisations, trade unions and patient groups would like carcinogenic and mutagenic hazardous medicines as well as substances toxic for reproduction to be brought within the scope of the current proposal.

The legislative process is in its early stages. In Parliament, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs is in charge of the file. The working party on social questions is dealing with it in the Council.

Versions

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(2020) 571
22.9.2020
Rapporteur: To be appointed 2020/0262 (COD)
Shadow rapporteurs: Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Initial discussions in committee

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