European Council agrees to improve protection from asbestos for workers

Ministers of Employment from the governments of the EU states have agreed to improve the protection from asbestos given to workers.  The current level of acceptable exposure will be significantly lowered, and more modern methods will be used to measure the level of asbestos in the atmosphere.

The new limit on exposure to asbestos will be 0.01 fibres of asbestos per cm³.  This is one tenth of the current level.

The levels will be measured by a more modern and more sensitive technique, electron microscopy. This change will be phased in over 7 years.

The proposals now move forward to the European Parliament for approval.  More details are available on the European Council website here.