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EU REGULATION OF RESPIRABLE CRYSTALLINE SILICA

Industry study highlights huge potential cost of ‘Binding Limit’

The European Commission Advisory Committee for Safety and Health (ACSH) has issued an ‘Opinion’ which includes a chapter regarding the proposed regulatory approach towards process generated Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).

The Opinion notes that it is agreed that there should be a Binding Occupational Limit Value of 0.1 mg/m³ introduced for RCS with two legal routes to introduce this limit at the European Union (EU) level namely:

  • Directive 98/24/EC, Chemical Agents at Work Directive (CAD) or through
  • Directive 2004/37/EC, Carcinogens and Mutagens at Work Directive (CMD).

EUROSIL, a body representing the European industrial silica producers commissioned (October 2013) a study to compare the socio-economic costs of having setting the limit in CMD versus CAD analysing and comparing the impact of each obligation of the Directives.

The study comes to the conclusion that:

  • additional efforts of 152 billion Euros for a 10-year period (2015 to 2025) are expected for the European industry where implementation is through CMD
  • introducing the binding limit value through CAD is related to 25 billion Euros expected costs.

 

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