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Carcinogens, Mutagens and Reprotoxic Substances Directive (CMRD)

Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or reprotoxic substances at work

1. Issued by / date / date of implementation

EU / 29 April 2004/ June 2004

2. Type of legislation

European Union Directive, to be implemented by all Member States by transposition of the legislation and enforcement with their means

3. General purpose

The aim of this Directive is to protect workers against risks arising from exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances at work.

The Directive uses the definition of carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic compounds provided in other EU legislation (Directives 67/548 and Directive 1999/45), to which it adds the examples of carcinogens in its Annex I.

Specific obligations for the employer as well as other measures referring to health monitoring, record keeping and exposure limits are provided.

4. Substitution relevant paragraphs

Article 4.1.

The employer shall reduce the use of carcinogens, mutagen or reprotoxic substances at the place of work, in particular by replacing it, in so far as is technically possible, by a substance, preparation or process which, under its condition for use, is not dangerous or is less dangerous to worker’s health or safety.

5. Assessment of relevance for substitution

Substitution is defined as first priority; all Member States have to follow this principle in their national legislation.

Strict obligations of enterprises, when using a carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substance also support the idea of substitution.

6. Link to the legal text

Directive 2004/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004

7. Further information

7.1 Studies or publications about the legislation or its impact

7.2 Other relevant legislation

Directive 2009/148/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work

Last update: 28.03.2022

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