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Formaldehyde sector announces first results of Voluntary Agreement on workplace safety


03 Feb 2020



Brussels, 3 February 2020: Formacare, the formaldehyde sector group of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), today announced strong progress against voluntary targets to reduce workplace exposure to formaldehyde emissions across Europe. The first full results from the Formacare Voluntary Agreement show that:

  • 99.7% of workers are not exposed to levels beyond target occupational exposure limits (OELs) of 0.3 particles per million (ppm);
  • 58% of the 7405 workers monitored are not exposed at all;
  • 29 companies representing the vast majority of the formaldehyde produced in the EU have reported OEL values under the Voluntary Agreement;
  • Formacare is actively working with its members to exchange best practice and ensure even higher compliance with targets in time for the first anniversary of the agreement in May 2020.

Lars Eric Johansson, Chairman of Formacare, commented: “Overall, the results show what can be achieved through dialogue, collaboration and commitment to a common goal. But, one worker exposed to higher levels is one worker too many. The highest standards in workplace safety are the foundation of a thriving industrial sector in Europe.”

The Voluntary Agreement was signed by Formacare members in May 2019 – building on collaboration with trade unions and employers’ groups at European Union (EU) level to jointly advocate for binding OEL values of 0.3 particles per million (ppm) under the third revision of the EU Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD3). The agreement was put in place to voluntarily speed up the application of these measures two years ahead of the transposition of the CMD3.

Building on the learnings to date from its Voluntary Agreement, Formacare is continuing discussions with trade union partners on how the initiative can be extended to downstream users and ensure the same level of protection across the whole value chain of formaldehyde using industries.

Please click here to read the full agreement.


About Formacare

Formacare is the formaldehyde sector group of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) representing key European producers of formaldehyde, aminoplast glues and polyols. Made up of representatives from large chemical and manufacturing companies across Europe, Formacare promotes the safe use and manufacturing of formaldehyde in accordance with the strictest health, safety and environmental regulations.

About Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical widely produced for applications such as glues for wood panels, coatings for paints, lubricants, high-end plastics, etc. The formaldehyde value chain provides direct jobs to 30,000 people in Europe, with as many as 1,7 million jobs in downstream sectors being supported by formaldehyde applications.

Media enquiries:

Jonathan Crozier, Secretary General of Formacare, +32 (0) 2436 9451


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