The European Parliament's employment and social affairs committee has backed a draft report on a third revision to the carcinogens and mutagens Directive.
The move, which would introduce limit values for inhalation exposure for two substances and three groups of substances, comes as part of the European Commission’s continuous updating of the CMD.
The proposal would add the following carcinogens and binding occupational exposure limits (mg/m3 for eight-hour time weight average exposure) to the Directive:
- cadmium and its inorganic compounds – 0.001mg/m3;
- beryllium and inorganic beryllium compounds – 0.0002mg/m3;
- arsenic acid and its salts, as well as inorganic arsenic compounds – 0.01mg/m3;
- formaldehyde – 0.37mg/m3 (and 0.738mg/m3 short-term exposure limit); and
- 4,4'-methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (Moca) – 0.01mg/m3.
These measures would be supplemented by a skin notation for Moca, a notation for skin sensitisation for formaldehyde, and a notation for skin and respiratory sensitisation for beryllium and its inorganic compounds.
The 20 November committee meeting adopted the draft report by a vote of 43-0, with two abstentions. The report will now become the subject of inter-institutional negotiations. Trilogues with the European Commission and the Council of Ministers are expected to start in January, under the Romanian Presidency of the Council. Once the three reach an agreement, a plenary of the Parliament will vote on the final text.
According to a Parliament summary, 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 ... ".
In October, negotiators from the committee and the Council struck a deal on a second revision to the CMD. This would add eight substances to the list of those recognised as causing cancer in the workplace.