Call for data on realistic occupational exposure limits for the removal of Asbestos
The regulatory framework for Asbestos, which is currently governed by the Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (2009/148/EC). This Directive sets an EU-wide binding occupational exposure limit (OEL) value for asbestos of 0,1 fibres/cm3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average, with some Member States having opted for stricter limits, such as the Netherlands.
The Commission has decided to reopen the Directive, and a dialogue with the social partners kicked off last year. In addition, last October, broad support was reached in the European Parliament for a non-binding report, which includes a request for a radically lower OEL, asking for it to be lowered at 0,001 fibres/cm3 as an 8-hour time-weighted average. EBC and FIEC have subsequently issued a joint press release, and met together with officials from DG EMPL. The main takeaways were the following:
- The Commission is drafting an Impact Assessment (IA) on the basis of both scientific and socio-economic elements, the EU social partners’ consultation, an external study, scientific information from ECHA’s RAC and the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health (ACSH) opinion
- A call for evidence is to be published in the coming weeks (January/February 2022)
- The Commission encourages industry to contact the competent national authorities as soon as possible
- DG EMPL is interested to hear more about the implementation of the lowest existing threshold applied in the Netherlands (0,002 fibres/cm3)
The Commission is eventually expected to publish a legislative proposal in Q3 2022, together with a pertinent Impact Assessment.
The National Guild of Mastercraftsmen is Irelands Represenative in EBC .