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New legislative proposal to protect European workers from asbestos


© European Parliament EMPL Committee

On 28 September 2022, the European Commission adopts a communication and puts forward a legislative proposal on the protection of workers from the risks related to asbestos exposure at work, amending the Asbestos at Work Directive 2009/148/EC. It aims to update the existing binding occupational exposure limit value for asbestos, considering the latest scientific development and technical progress.

Asbestos is a highly dangerous cancer-causing agent and despite its EU ban in 2005, it continues to pose a considerable threat to public health and workers, especially in the construction, maintenance and waste sectors. An integrated approach across several policy areas, including occupational safety and health (OSH), is required to tackle its ill-fated legacy.

The Commission and EU-OSHA calls upon their networks and stakeholders to engage in initiatives working towards an asbestos-free future and protecting health and safety at work of those potentially exposed to asbestos. 

Read the European Commission’s press release and check out the resources.

EU-OSHA’s ‘Practical tools and guidance on dangerous substances’ offers more than 70 resources related to asbestos and OSH.

An OSHwiki article explains the history of asbestos and its health effects.