Asbestos: new exposure limit 10 times lower than the previous one


The European Parliament and the Member States have reached the agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to update the EU directive on asbestos at work. This is an important step towards better protection of workers from the risks of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos is an extremely dangerous carcinogen that is still present in many of our buildings and causes many avoidable deaths in the EU. The new rules, provided for in the political agreement and in line with the latest scientific data, will ensure that no worker is exposed to a concentration greater than 0.01 asbestos fibres per cubic centimetre (f/cm³). This value is ten times lower than the previous exposure limit.

The agreement also provides for a transitional period of 7 years to allow Member States to implement the new rules. As requested by Parliament and the Council, the Commission will also present guidelines that will help Member States in the transition to modern fibre counting methods.

After the formal approval of the agreement by the European Parliament and the Council, Member States will have two years to transpose the EU directive into national law.

Environment and health