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European Parliament approves legislation to stop cancer at work


27 Apr 2021


Health & Consumers
Stop Cancer at Work Campaign calls on European Commission and European Council to include hazardous drugs and reprotoxins in legislation now

The European Parliament has confirmed the need for immediate legislative action – not just guidance – to stop workers from contracting cancer at work, by including hazardous drugs and reprotoxins in the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD). The trilogue process with the European Council, Parliament and Commission will now start to finalise the legislation. 

The Stop Cancer at Work Campaign believes that the European Commission and European Council should now, without further delay, include hazardous drugs and reprotoxins in the CMD.  Legislation is the only way to deliver the necessary certainty, legal clarity and compliance with the CMD to prevent workers contracting cancer. The Commission has already undertaken the necessary consultation, impact assessment and scientific justification so that the EU can proceed immediately to legislate.

Legislation to protect workers is now not only supported by the European Parliament but also - according to an independent report on hazardous drugs published in March by the Commission - by the majority of the Member States that make up the European Council along with employers, trades unions, healthcare professionals, and patients. 

Inclusion of hazardous drugs in Annex I and reprotoxins in the title of the CMD will prevent the occupational exposure of workers and patients in healthcare to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic drugs, which cause workplace cancer and reproductive problems and result in unnecessary deaths and harm to those exposed.



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