Third revision of Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD)

On 19 June 2019, the Official Journal of the European Union published the text of the third revision of the CMD: the directive protecting workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (Directive 2019/983 (EU), amending Directive 2004/37/EC). The revision not only introduces four new occupational exposure limit values (OELVs) for cadmium, beryllium, MOCA and formaldehyde, it also clarifies the scope of the rules and obliges the European Commission to make legislative proposals.

Classification of carcinogens and mutagens

The overall revision of the CMD is taking place in steps. This latest revision clarifies the scope of the rules protecting workers. In the European Union, many carcinogens are subject not to a harmonised classification but to a self-classification carried out by suppliers. The directive now stipulates that prevention measures must be adopted for both categories of substances, i.e. substances with a harmonised classification as 1A (proven carcinogenicity) or 1B (suspected carcinogenicity) carcinogens and mutagens, as well as substances classified in the same categories by their producers or importers.

Which measures to take? STOP!

There are some basic rules that apply whenever carcinogenic substances are used in the workplace. Rules everyone should take into account, regardless of the job position one finds themselves in. Which measures to take is easy to remember: STOP keeps you safe!

Click here for measures employers and employees can take.

Proposals European Commission

The Directive obliges the European Commission to make legislative proposals concerning the protection of workers exposed to hazardous drugs (including cytotoxic drugs primarily used for cancer treatment). Following the publication of the third revision of the directive, Member States now have to transpose it into their national legislation by 11 July 2021 at the latest.

Read more

  • Click here to read and download the EU Directive 2019/983 (in 24 languages).
  • Click here to read the article on the website of the European Trade Union Institute.
  • Click here to read and download factsheets about carcinogens (in many languages).
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