EU Updates Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

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February 5, 2019Verisk 3E Research TeamBlog

The European Commission adopted legislation on 16 January 2019 that amends two annexes to Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (CMD).

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Published in the EU Official Journal on 31 January 2019, Directive 2019/130/EU adds two more entries to Annex I, which contains a list of carcinogens, and mixtures and processes of the same for purposes of the CMD.

The two new entries are:

  • Work involving dermal exposure to mineral oils used before in internal combustion engines.
  • Work involving exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions.

The amending directive also updates Annex III, the CMD’s list of occupational exposure limit (OEL) values, which have been established for certain carcinogens and mutagens.

The new Annex III entries are:

  • Trichloroethylene
  • Certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures
  • MDA
  • Epichlorohydrine
  • EDB
  • EDC
  • Diesel engine exhaust emissions
  • Mineral oils used before in internal combustion engines

The amendment also includes a new provision that requires EU member state authorities to ensure that so-called social partners' agreements concluded in the field of the CMD are made public and regularly updated on the website of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).

In recital 24 of the amending directive, the Commission points out that such agreements provide “guidance and tools in order to support the effective implementation of the employers' obligations laid down in the Directive 2004/37/EC.” They are “valuable instruments to complement regulatory measures.” As an example of such an agreement, the Commission cites the “Agreement on Workers Health Protection Through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it,” which was concluded by the associations that form the European Network for Silica (NEPSI).

Verisk 3E Analysis

EU member states have until 20 February 2021 to implement the changes introduced by this amending directive into their own national law. Affected EU-based companies are advised to begin adjusting their work processes and inventories now in preparation for these changes.