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12.09.2016

The inclusion of silica dust in the Carcinogens Directive is not adequate to protect workers

EBC and FIEC, together representing all sizes of European construction companies, have published a joint position paper to speak up against the inclusion of the Respirable Crystalline Silica dust in the proposal to revise the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive.

The key messages of the position paper are the following:

  • The figures used by the Commission in its impact assessment do not correspond to those gathered at national level and therefore are not reliable to assess the proposal.
  • Including Respirable Crystalline Silica dust would introduce requirements on construction companies that are disproportionate and inefficient in respect to the potential benefits for workers’ protection. The Chemical Agents Directive already provides the right legislative framework.
  • The protection of workers can be more efficiently achieved through preventive actions, as demonstrated by the small number of reported cases of silicosis.
  • The limit exposure value must be proportionate. There are no studies demonstrating that a lower threshold reduces the risk of silicosis more effectively than the proposed value  0.1 mg/m3.

Read our joint position paper on silica dust