In April 2018, the European Commission proposed new workplace exposure limits for five cancer-causing chemicals, in addition to the 21 substances that have already been limited or proposed to be limited. These include cadmium, beryllium, and formaldehyde.
When setting new limit values, the Commission seeks scientific advice from the European Chemicals Agency and consults with the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work, which is tasked with assisting the Commission in the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of activities in the fields of safety and health at work.
As stated in the Proposal Amending Directive 2004/37/EC, “According to estimates, the adoption of the proposal would imply that in the longer term, over 1,000,000 EU workers would benefit from improved prevention and protection in relation to occupational exposure to carcinogens and mutagens substances, which can be at the origin of different types of cancers, e.g., lung, bladder, kidney, nasopharyngeal and others, and it would prevent 22,000 cases of ill-health.”
Select exposure limits from the European Commission’s proposal appear below along with OSHA’s current PELs for the same substances for comparison. (Graphic Source: https://synergist.aiha.org/201807-exposure-limits-european-union)
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