|Author (Corporate)||European Commission: DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion|
|Series Details||COM (2022) 489|
Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 28 September 2022, introducing amendments to Directive 2009/148/EC concerning the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work.
Occupational cancer is the first cause of work-related deaths in the European Union (EU). It is primarily caused by exposure to carcinogenic substances such as asbestos. The progressive ban on the use of asbestos in the EU began in 1988 with the prohibition of crocidolite and was subsequently extended to cover other asbestos-containing materials. Since 2005, all forms of asbestos are banned in the EU.
Council Directive 83/447/EEC was the first piece of legislation aimed at protecting workers from the specific risks of workplace exposure to asbestos. The Directive was substantially amended several times until its most recent codified version (Directive 2009/148/EC), also known as as the Asbestos at Work Directive (AWD). The AWD protects workers against risks to their health arising or likely to arise from exposure to asbestos at work, including by preventing such risks. Under the AWD, for all activities in which workers are or may be exposed to dust from asbestos or materials containing asbestos, exposure must be reduced to a minimum and in any case below the fixed binding occupational-exposure limit (OEL) of 0.1 fibres/cm3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA).
The proposed amendment of the AWD aims to make the OEL under the Directive more effective by updating it on the basis of the latest available scientific evidence.
The draft Directive was tabled by the European Commission on 28 September 2022, alongside a Communication focusing on work towards an asbestos-free future.
|Subject Categories||Employment and Social Affairs, Health|
|Subject Tags||Health and Safety, Public Health|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|