The European Commission is taking another important step to protect workers in the European Union (EU) from workplace-related cancer as well as other health problems. The Commission is proposing to limit workers’ exposure to five cancer-causing chemicals. This is in addition to the 21 substances that have already been limited or proposed to be limited since the beginning of the Commission’s mandate in 2014.  

Data compiled by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work shows that cancer is the first cause of work-related deaths. 52% of annual work-related deaths across the EU are due to cancer, compared to 24% due to circulatory illnesses and 2% due to injuries. This is in comparison to the global estimate where 27% of work-related deaths are a result of cancer. In Malta, 26.13% of work related deaths are caused by cancer. 

Exposure to certain chemical agents at work can cause cancer. While cancer is a complex disease and certain causal factors are difficult to identify, it is clear that cancers caused by exposure to chemical substances in the workplace can be prevented by reducing or eliminating these exposures. 

More information may be found here.