Directive 2019/983 of 5 June 2019 amending of the Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work has has been published. It will entry into force on 10 July 2019.
This Directive strengthens the protection of workers’ health and safety at their workplace.
New limit values should be set out:
- Cadmium and many of its inorganic compounds are classified as carcinogenic (category 1B). In addition cadmium, cadmium nitrate, cadmium hydroxide and cadmium carbonate have been identified as substances of very high concern and so are included in the candidate list. It will be difficult to comply with a the new limit value of 0,001 mg/m³ in the short term. A transitional period of eight years, during which the limit value 0,004 mg/m 3 (inhalable fraction) should apply, is foreseen. However, on the date of the entry into force of this Directive, a biomonitoring system with a biological limit value not exceeding 0,002 mg Cd/g creatinine in urine, the limit value of 0,004 mg/m³ should, in those Member States, be measured as respirable fraction during the transitional period, in light of the SCOEL and ACSH opinions on cadmium and its inorganic compounds. The Commission should issue practical guidelines for biological monitoring.
- Beryllium and most inorganic beryllium compounds are classified as carcinogenic (category 1B). In addition to having carcinogenic properties, beryllium is known to provoke chronic beryllium disease and beryllium sensitization. it will be difficult to comply with a limit value of 0,0002 mg/m 3 in the short term. It is therefore appropriate to introduce a transitional period of seven years, during which the limit value of 0,0006 mg/m³ should apply.
- Arsenic acid and its salts, as well as most inorganic arsenic compounds are classified as carcinogenic (category 1A). In addition, arsenic acid, diarsenic pentaoxide and diarsenic trioxide are identified as substances of very high concern and are included in Annex XIV to REACH Regulation, requiring authorisation before they can be used. It is foreseeable that the copper smelting sector will have difficulties in complying with a limit value of 0,01 mg/m³. A transitional period of four years should therefore be introduced.
- Formaldehyde is classified as carcinogenic (category 1B). It is a local acting genotoxic carcinogen. Formaldehyde is also a contact allergen for the skin (skin sensitiser). It is foreseeable that the healthcare sector will have difficulties in complying, in the short term, with a limit value of 0,37 mg/m³ or 0,3 ppm. It is therefore appropriate to introduce for that sector a transitional period of five years, during which the limit value of 0,62 mg/m³ or 0,5 ppm should apply. The healthcare sector should, however, minimise exposure to formaldehyde and is encouraged to respect the limit value of 0,37 mg/m³ or 0,3 ppm during the transitional period where possible. The same transitional period will be foreseen for the funeral sector during which the limit value of 0,62 mg/m³ or 0,5 ppm should apply.
- 4,4′-Methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA) is classified as carcinogenic (category 1B) The possibility of a significant uptake through the skin was identified for MOCA. In addition, it was identified as a substance of very high concern and included in Annex XIV to REACH Regulation, requiring authorisation before it can be placed on the market or used. A limit value for MOCA of 0.01 mg/m³ is set.
Notation for sensitization are introduced for beryllium, formaldehyde and MOCA.
Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 11 July 2021.