European Commission package of EU initiatives addressing the health risks of asbestos - a BusinessEurope position paper
- The European Commission’s proposal to lower the occupational exposure limit value to asbestos from 0.1 fibres/cm³ to 0.01 f/cm³ as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) in the Asbestos at Work Directive should be maintained as it strikes the right balance between effective worker protection and feasibility for employers to implement and measure the limit value.
- In order to ensure the effective measuring of levels as low as 0.01 fibres/cm3 as well as level the playing field across the EU, the more modern and sensitive measurement methodology based on electron microscopy (EM) should be included in the revision of the Asbestos at Work directive as the common harmonised methodology for counting asbestos fibres.
- Regardless of the measurement methodology used, a transitional period of four to five years should be ensured in the revision of the Asbestos at Work directive.
- In view of being as cost-efficient as possible, the mandatory screening and registration of asbestos in building should be limited to buildings constructed before 2005 or before the year of an equivalent national asbestos ban and should only take place when risks actually present themselves, e.g. during a demolition or, where necessary, renovation, rather than when buildings are sold on the market. The further work of the Commission on this needs to learn from the practices of the Member States that have introduced such systems. This approach is not only cost-efficient but also the safest, i.e. leave the fixed and intact materials undisturbed.