Moving towards safer alternatives

Subsport - Substitution Support Portal
Home > Substitution in Legislation > Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

» Back to List

Title: Protection of workers from the risk related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work

Directive 2004/37/EC

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 and mutagens at work.

The Directive uses the definition of carcinogenic and mutagenic 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 or mutagen 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 or mutagenic substance also support the idea of substitution.

6. Link to the legal text

7. Further information

7.1 Studies or publications about the legislation or its impact

7.2 Other relevant legislation

The Directive 2003/18/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work: archived copy or original document

Last update: 18.11.2010

» Back to List


Restricted and priority substances database» link
Case story database » link