Cancer is the leading cause of work-related deaths in the EU

Behind these stark statistics lie the human costs of lives devastated and potential unfulfilled. 

There are also considerable costs to businesses and to society. The saddest thing is that we know that work-related cancer is preventable. Protecting workers from exposure to carcinogens is one of the key challenges for occupational safety and health in the 21st century. We need to embrace the challenge and take action.

At the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, we are working to highlight the scale of the problem and the importance of preventing exposure to carcinogens at work as part of our current campaign, Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances. 

We believe that by informing and educating workers and employers, and offering practical solutions, we can reduce and even eliminate exposure to carcinogens at work, thereby preventing needless suffering and deaths from cancer.

One of the crucial first steps in reducing exposure is establishing occupational exposure limit (OEL) values for carcinogens and then keeping them updated as new information arises. The European Commission together with the European Parliament is committed to establishing and revising OELs - and it has our full support and that of the social partners in that task.



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