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EU Commission proposes tightened limits on exposure to acrylonitrile, benzene in the workplace

September 23/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission says it has proposed today, in the fourth revision of its carcinogens and mutagens directive, the introduction of new limit values for acrylonitrile and nickel compounds, and a revised downward limit value for benzene, to limit further the exposure of EU workers to cancer-causing chemicals, said Chemweek.

The proposal is the first initiative of the Commission's commitment to fight cancer under the upcoming Europe's Beating Cancer plan, it says. The proposal will now be negotiated by the European Parliament and European Council. "A workplace should be a safe place and yet cancer is the cause of half of the deaths linked to work. Today's update to the carcinogens and mutagens directive is one of the first steps in our ambitious plan to beat cancer. It shows that we are determined to act and will not compromise on workers' health,Ф says Nicolas Schmit, EU commissioner/jobs and social rights.

Each year, about 120,000 work-related cancer cases occur in the EU as a result of exposure to carcinogens, leading to approximately 80,000 fatalities annually, the Commission says. Introducing new or revised occupational exposure limits for acrylonitrile, nickel compounds, and benzene will prevent work-related cases of cancer and other serious illnesses, it says.

Estimates show that more than 1.1 million workers in a wide range of EU sectors will benefit from improved protection thanks to the new rules, the Commission says. The proposal is also expected to benefit companies by reducing costs caused by work-related ill health and cancer, such as absences and insurance payments, it says.

"Today we are taking an important step to protect our workers from the exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace and start our work under our upcoming Europe's Beating Cancer plan. With the plan, we will aim to tackle the main risk factors of cancer for everyone, but also to guide patients at every step of their journey and contribute to improving the life of those affected by this disease," says Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner/health and food safety.

The carcinogens and mutagens directive is regularly updated in line with new scientific evidence and technical data, and this new initiative has been developed in close collaboration with scientists and with representatives of workers, employers, and EU member states, the Commission says. Trade unions and employers' organizations were also involved through a two-phase consultation, it says.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:Europe, petroleum products, PP, PE, neftegaz, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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