EU proposal to reduce occupational exposure to five carcinogenic chemical agents



This proposal aims to improve workers’ health protection by reducing occupational exposure to five carcinogenic chemical agents, to provide more clarity for workers, employers and enforcers, and to contribute to a level playing field for economic operators. 

In the State of the Union Address 2017 President Juncker emphasized the need to avoid social fragmentation and social dumping in Europe by joining efforts and delivering on the European Pillar on Social Rights. The Pillar - jointly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017 at the Social Summit in Gothenburg - is designed as a compass for a renewed process of convergence towards better working and living conditions across the Union. It identifies workers' right to healthy, safe and well-adapted work environment, which includes protection from carcinogens, as one of the main principles. Protection of workers' health, by continuously reducing occupational exposures to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, is a concrete action of the Juncker Commission to deliver on this key priority. This has been clearly stated in the Commission Communication on "Safer and Healthier Work for All".

Furthermore, addressing the social dimension of the European Union by putting forward a proposal for a Directive on the protection of workers from health risks in the workplace (related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens) is included in the Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-2019 4 .

The intention is also to continue this important work with a view to propose binding limit values for other carcinogens and mutagens. 

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