Industry Concerns Surround EU Commission's Progress on Cobalt Occupational Exposure Limit
The European Union Commission is currently progressing in its efforts to establish an EU-wide Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for cobalt and inorganic cobalt compounds. This significant step involves a comprehensive process, which incorporates input from experts in scientific, socioeconomic, and political fields. The resulting OEL values will have a far-reaching impact on cobalt-related workplaces across Europe.
The Cobalt Institute actively supports the implementation of an Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for cobalt in Europe and has played a key role in the process. They've contributed industry data from studies by reputable organizations such as Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec), which assessed the socio-economic consequences of different OEL levels, and Risk and Policy Analysts (RPA), which analyzed the impact of potential OELs on EU strategic goals. These studies collectively emphasize the importance of striking a balance between safety and the competitiveness and sustainability of Europe's cobalt industry.
Both studies arrived at a shared conclusion - setting excessively low OEL values would adversely affect Europe's cobalt industry, potentially jeopardizing its competitiveness in green value chains, hindering progress toward a circular economy, and impeding strategic autonomy. Such repercussions would extend throughout the cobalt value chain, reducing industry competitiveness and undermining supply chain security. The ongoing deliberations and expert input are vital in determining the OEL that balances safety with the sustainability and competitiveness of the European cobalt sector.
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