On June 28, 2017, the Maltese Presidency and the European Parliament created a provisional agreement on a directive to protect workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace. Under the proposed directive, limits would be set for carcinogens and mutagens to tackle the primary cause of work-related deaths in the EU. The goal of the directive is to save approximately 100,000 lives over the next 50 years. Specifically, the provisional agreement outlines elements for the directive to target, including: reprotoxic substances, chromium VI, hardwood dust, respiratory crystalline silica dust, and health surveillance. Exposure limits will also be set on 11 additional carcinogens, including: respirable crystalline silica dust, 1,2-Epoxypropane, 1,3-Butadiene, 2-Nitropropane, acrylamide, certain chromium (VI) compounds, ethylene oxide, o-toluidine, refractory ceramic fibers, Bromoethylene and Hydrazine. Once the provisional agreement is officially approved by the European Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee, the new directive must be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.
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