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20/01/2022

CMD4 reaches political agreement on protecting workers from hazardous and reprotoxic substances

EONS is extremely proud to announce that the Protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work Directive (CMD4) reached a political agreement by introducing binding occupational limit values for 11 substances in the annex to the directive and broadened its scope into CMRD with the inclusion of reprotoxic substances.

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EONS Advocacy Working Group has been working extensively over the last two years to raise awareness about this important topic for the future of patient and occupational safety. EONS Safety Survey and Cancer Nursing Index provided important information on current workplace exposure to hazardous drugs with potential acute health effects and/or chronic effects. In January 2020, EONS organised an event in the European Parliament with the support of the European Cancer Organisation (ECO) and European Society of Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP) calling for cross sectoral cooperation to protect cancer nurses, pharmacists and patients from exposure to hazardous drugs.

You can read the EONS Open Letter in collaboration with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) who joined forces in supporting this call here. This is a huge success not only for EU policy makers but also for healthcare workers handling hazardous medical products (HMPs) which, if fully implemented, will strengthen occupational safety and prevent thousands of cases of adverse health effects and even deaths in Europe.

A European cancer nurse commented: “We have to learn on the job. After a few shifts side by side with a colleague, we administer chemo and other cancer drugs, but I have no formal training for this.’’

EONS Senior Board Advisor Lena Sharp said: “With this important EU legislation and its implementation in EU Member States, EONS hopes that such incidents will belong to the past.”

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