The European Commission is proposing changes to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC) in order to limit exposure to thirteen known cancer causing chemicals in the workplace, including respirable crystalline silica (RCS).
Cancer is estimated to account for more than half of work-related deaths in the EU, totalling around 102,000 deaths per year. Introducing the limits will lead to fewer cases of occupational cancer as they will set a maximum concentration for the presence of a chemical carcinogen in the workplace air.
The proposal is based on scientific evidence and follows broad discussions with scientists, employers, workers, Member States’ representatives and labour inspectors. The new limits will improve legal protection of exposed workers especially in the construction sector.
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility said: ‘Cancer has an enormous impact on workers, their families, industry and society. With this proposal we will save 100,000 lives in the next 50 years. Protection of workers is at the core of the Commission’s commitment to a strong social Europe.”
Read more at the source: European Commission proposes to better protect workers from cancer-causing chemicals