Members' Research Service By / October 31, 2023

Protection of workers: Limit values for lead and diisocyanates [EU Legislation in Progress]

In recent years, the European Union’s occupational safety and health (OSH) policy framework and rules have contributed to considerably improving working conditions, particularly concerning workers’ protection from exposure to carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals.

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Written by Laurence Amand-Eeckhout (1st edition).

As part of its fight against harmful substances, on 13 February 2023 the Commission tabled a proposal for a directive aimed at protecting workers’ health by lowering occupational exposure to lead and diisocyanates.

The proposed directive would set, for the first time, occupational limit values for diisocyanates, while revising the limit values for lead for the first time in more than 40 years. It would also include a review mechanism to guarantee regular revisions from now on to make sure that those limit values will be regularly updated, taking into account the latest scientific data.

In Parliament, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), which is responsible for the file, adopted its report on 7 September 2023. The mandate to enter into interinstitutional negotiations was endorsed by the plenary the following week, and negotiations are ongoing.


Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 98/24/EC and Directive 2004/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the limit values for lead and its inorganic compounds and diisocyanates
Committee responsible:Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)COM(2023) 71
Rapporteur:Nikolaj Villumsen (The Left, Denmark)2023/0033(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Cindy Franssen (EPP, Belgium)
Ilan De Basso (S&D, Sweden)
Véronique Trillet-Lenoir † (Renew, France)
Sara Matthieu (Greens/EFA, Belgium)
Elżbieta Rafalska (ECR, Poland)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council
on equal footing –
formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Trilogue

Stage: Trilogue

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