It is estimated that about 74,000 work-related deaths may be linked to hazardous substances at work each year in the EU — about 10 times more than workplace accidents. About 15% of European workers report handling chemical products for a quarter of their working time and 19% report breathing in dust, fumes and smoke in their workplaces. The 49 experts from 21 European countries who participated in this forecast study highlighted that particles and dusts are major emerging concerns and put nanoparticles at the top of the list of emerging risks. Other main emerging risks identified were carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances, and the increasing use of allergenic and sensitising substances. Specific occupations of emerging concern were also highlighted and include the increasing waste management industry, construction and service activities such as cleaning and home nursing. In addition, there is a growing number of workers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and sub-contracted jobs, where the management of chemical risks is generally poorer. Finally, concern about multiple exposures is increasing, as was also highlighed by three other forecasts on emerging biological, physical and psychosocial risks.
diesel exhaust, nanoparticles, isocyanates, epoxy resins, man-made mineral fibers, wood dust, crystalline silica, asbestos etc.