NEWSWATCH
EXPOSURE LIMITS
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EU Proposes New Exposure Limits for 13 Cancer-causing Chemicals
In May, the European Commission proposed changes to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive that would introduce new or amended occupational exposure limit values for 13 cancer-causing chemicals. According to the Commission’s press release, cancer accounts for 53 percent of work-related deaths in the EU. The Commission based the new proposed limits on scientific evidence following discussions with scientists, labor inspectors, employers and workers, and representatives from EU member states.
One of the new limits is for respirable crystalline silica (RCS), the leading cause of occupational lung cancer and the lung disease silicosis. The EU’s new proposed value for RCS, 0.1 mg/m3 per 8-hour shift, is twice as high as the exposure limit that OSHA recently finalized in the United States.
Other chemicals listed in the proposed changes include refractory ceramic fibers, vinyl chloride monomer, and ethylene oxide. The full list of new and amended exposure limits is available on the European Commission's website.
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