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EU Updates Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

EHSQ Alliance Affiliate

EU member states have until 20 February 2021 to comply with amendments to Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (CMD).

Written by Scott Stephens, Regulatory Research Manager, Verisk 3E, an EHSQ Alliance Affiliate. 

(This post was originally published on the Verisk 3E blog on 5 February 2019 and it was updated on 24 February 2019. Republished with permission). 

Legislation was published in the European Union Official Journal on 31 January 2019 that updates two annexes to Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (CMD).

The European Commission adopted Directive 2019/130/EU on 16 January 2019, adding two new entries to Annex I, which contains a list of carcinogens, and mixtures and processes of the same for purposes of the CMD.

The two new entries are:

  • Work involving dermal exposure to mineral oils used before in internal combustion engines.
  • Work involving exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions.

The amending directive also updates Annex III, the CMD’s list of occupational exposure limit (OEL) values that have been established for certain carcinogens and mutagens.

The new Annex III entries are:

  • Trichloroethylene
  • Certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mixtures
  • MDA
  • Epichlorohydrine
  • EDB
  • EDC
  • Diesel engine exhaust emissions
  • Mineral oils used before in internal combustion engines

The amendment also includes a new provision that requires EU member state authorities to ensure that so-called social partners' agreements concluded in the field of the CMD are made public and regularly updated on the website of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).

Verisk 3E Analysis

In recital 24 of the amending directive, the Commission points out that such agreements provide “guidance and tools in order to support the effective implementation of the employers' obligations laid down in Directive 2004/37/EC.” They are “valuable instruments to complement regulatory measures.”

As an example of such agreement, the Commission cites the “Agreement on Workers Health Protection through the Good Handling and Use of Crystalline Silica and Products Containing it,” which was concluded by the associations that form the European Network for Silica (NEPSI).

EU member states have until 20 February 2021 to implement the changes introduced by this amending directive into their own national law. Affected EU-based companies are advised to begin adjusting their work processes and inventories now in preparation for these changes.


Scott Stephens is a Manager of Regulatory Research for Verisk 3E™. Scott is in charge of tracking EHS regulatory developments in Western Europe for Verisk 3E, the leading global provider of intelligent compliance solutions. Scott’s responsibilities include keeping an extensive set of regulatory databases up to date, expanding regulatory coverage to meet client needs, fielding client questions concerning European EHS regulations, producing regulatory guidance for external and internal customers and providing regulatory support for product development initiatives.


Verisk 3E™ delivers intelligent compliance solutions that empower companies to reduce risk, drive continuous improvement and create new growth opportunities. For 30 years Verisk 3E has provided clients with the expertise, content, live 24-7-365 EHS support and award winning solutions required to increase chemical and workplace safety, improve product safety and stewardship, strengthen supply chain stewardship and optimize research and development decision support.



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February 27, 2019 @ 09:13 AM EST Environment, Health & Safety

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