BRUSSELS – European lawmakers backed on Tuesday a policy that would see workers protected from carcinogens, including diesel fumes, by fixing a maximum threshold to which workers should be exposed.
A European parliamentary plenary in Strasbourg saw European Union lawmakers voting in favor of establishing a limit to exposure of carcinogenic substances in the workspace.
“In order to protect some 3.6 million workers in the EU potentially exposed to diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEE), the Parliament succeeded in including diesel fumes in the scope of the new rules and in setting the corresponding exposure limit value,” a press release on the new ruling stated.
The new policy is aimed at reducing the risk of cancer-related deaths in the EU labor market, the primary cause of work-related mortality in the bloc.
Various substances have been added to the new ruling and also included the risk of inhaling toxic fumes as well as substances permeating into the body through the skin.
“This second revision of the directive sends a clear signal: monitoring occupational exposure to more and more harmful substances substantially increases workers’ protection,” said Claude Rodin, a member of the European People’s Party.
“We need to constantly monitor this. Cancer is the leading cause of work-related death in the EU. It is unacceptable that workers lose their lives while trying to earn a living,” Rodin added.