The Commission, in view of the preparation of the proposals for amendment of Directive 2009/148/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work, and in linewith the 2017 Commission Communication ‘Safer and Healthier Work for All’ –Modernisation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health Legislation and Policy1, asked the advice of RAC to assess the scientific relevance of the current occupational exposure limitfor asbestos.
Therefore, the Commission made a request on 08/01/2020to ECHA in accordance with the Service Level Agreement (SLA) (Ares(2019)18725), to review the current OEL, which impose on employers the obligation to ensure that no worker is exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos in excess of 0.1 fibres per cm3as an 8–hour time–weighted average (TWA) in accordance with Article 8 Directive 2009/148/EC. The SLA further specified that “the scientific evaluation shall include, where appropriate, review of/or proposals for OEL(s), biological limit value(s) and/or appropriate notations. It shall include an evaluation of different types of asbestos fibres (as defined in Art 2, Dir 2009/148/EC) and take into account the nature of the health effects due to these differences. It shall include an assessment of whether a differentiated limit value may be appropriate for the different types of asbestos fibres.”.
In support of the Commission’s request, ECHA has prepared a scientific reportconcerning occupational limit values for asbestosat the workplace.
In the preparatory phase of making this report, a call for evidence was startedon02/03/2020to invite interested parties to submit comments and evidence on the subject by 02/06/2020. The evidence collectedwas made publicly available at: https://echa.europa.eu/oels–cce–current–consultation. The scientific reportwas made available on the ECHA website at:https://echa.europa.eu/oels–pc–on–oel–recommendationon 01/02/2021and interested parties were invited to submit comments by 01/04/2021.
The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC)will develop its opinion on the basis of the scientific reportsubmitted by ECHA. During the preparation of the opinion on occupational limit values for asbestos, the scientific reportwill befurther developed as the Annex to the RAC opinion.
Following adoption of an opinion on asbestos, recommending an Occupational Exposure Limit for asbestosby RAC, the Annex will beamended to align it appropriately with the view of RAC. It supports the opinion of theRACand gives the detailed grounds for the opinion2.