A silent epidemic: occupational exposure limits are insufficiently protecting individual worker health.

A silent epidemic: occupational exposure limits are insufficiently protecting individual worker health. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2019 Nov 13;: Authors: Alblin M, Gustavsson P Abstract In an editorial in an earlier issue of this journal, Johanson &Tinnerberg (1) expressed serious and well-founded concern over the large number of future occupational cancer cases that will result if exposures for a number of substances are not reduced below the so-called "binding occupational exposure limit values" (BOELV) issued by the EU (2). The balance between what is perceived as possible to comply with and the foreseeable health gain when setting BOELV is further discussed in a letter to the Editor by Cherrie (3). This debate raises several important aspects of how to protect workers from cancer as well as other potentially lethal diseases. Herewith, we discuss some of these aspects. One problem in setting OEL is that levels that are considered safe may not be seen as feasible when accounting for technological and societal aspects. The EU has recognized this problem by distinguishing between so-called "indicative" (health-based) and legally binding OEL (4). However, a BOELV that does not protect from a high risk for severe health effects is not adequate. Both Johanson &Tinnerberg and Cherrie point to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) as an example: While the EU's Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) recommended...
Source: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health - Category: Occupational Health Authors: Tags: Scand J Work Environ Health Source Type: research

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