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OSHwiki — carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) substances

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Carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs) are chronically toxic and have very serious impacts on health. Over 30 million tonnes of CMRs are produced in Europe each year. The number of workers exposed to CMRs and the severity of effects call for coordinated scientific, technical and regulatory actions to be taken in order to protect health and improve working conditions. This OSHwiki article gives an overview of the classification and mechanism of action of different CMRs. It will guide you through EU legislation and give an overview of prevention measures.

In 2004, a survey carried out in France evaluated 50 potential reprotoxic substances scoring them for danger and exposure. The 10 highest scoring substances according to this method were: di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, cadmium, lead, hexachlorobenzene, toluene, nonylphenol, ethylene glycol ethyl ether and benomyl.

Other data

Sector / Industry covered: 
BÁNYÁSZAT, KŐFEJTÉS
FELDOLGOZÓIPAR
Kokszgyártás, kőolaj-feldolgozás
Villamos berendezés gyártása
Ipari gép, berendezés javítása
ÉPÍTŐIPAR
Motorkerékpár, -alkatrész kereskedelme, javítása
HUMÁN-EGÉSZSÉGÜGYI, SZOCIÁLIS ELLÁTÁS
Járóbeteg-ellátás, fogorvosi ellátás
Tasks covered: 
Construction
Heating, Machining, or Welding Metal
Installing or Removing Insulation
Manufacturing
Processing Materials
Removing Coatings
Smelting and Casting Metal
Woodworking
Hazard - physical state: 
Aerosols
Dusts
Fibres
Gases
Liquids
Nanoparticles (airborne liquids/solids including smoke or mist)
Solids
Vapours
Hazard - health effects: 
Carcinogens
Mutagens
Reprotoxic substances
Exposure route: 
Dermal contact
Ingestion
Inhalation
Ocular (through eyes)
Skin absorption
Substance Description: 

Carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs) are often referred to as a group. Carcinogens are substances or mixtures that induce cancer or increase its incidence. A mutation means a permanent change in the amount or structure of the genetic material in a cell. Mutagens are agents that increase the occurrence of mutations. Many mutagenic substances are also carcinogenic, but not all. Agents that are reprotoxic are those that cause adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in males and females, developmental toxicity in offspring and effects through or via lactation. Data show that certain CMRs target certain organs (organs that are most affected), for instance nasal cancer is associated with exposure to chromium (VI) compounds, pleural mesothelioma with asbestos exposure and scrotal cancer with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzo[a]pyrene from soot.

CAS Number: 
71-43-2 Benzene
7758-97-6 Lead chromate
683-18-1 Dibutyltin dichloride
50-32-8 Polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
1313-99-1 Nickel monoxide
2314-97-8 Trifluoroiodomethane
630-08-0 Carbon monoxide
1332-21-4 Asbestos
EC number: 
200-753-7 Benzene
231-846-0 Lead chromate
211-670-0 Dibutyltin dichloride
200-028-5 Polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
215-215-7 Nickel monoxide
219-014-5 Trifluoroiodomethane
211-128-3 Carbon monoxide
603-721-4 Asbestos
Prevention measures: 
Level 1. Elimination of hazards
Level 1. Substitution
Level 2. Technical measures, e.g. local exhaust ventilation
Level 2. Reducing / minimising the risk by organisational measures, e.g. reducing the number of workers exposed
Level 3. Reducing / minimising the risk by personal measures (PPE)
Training / guidance
Hygiene measures
Purpose of the material: 
General information
Guidance
Target group: 
All (no specific target group)

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