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European Roadmap on Carcinogens raises awareness of occupational exposure to carcinogenic chemical agents

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 19.4.2023 14.19
Press release 65/2023

The EU Roadmap on Carcinogens is a voluntary action scheme launched in 2016, which includes challenges run and implemented by teams of Roadmap partners.

Exposure to carcinogenic chemical agents is a risk to the health and work ability of employees. The aim of the Roadmap on Carcinogens initiative is to raise awareness of exposure to carcinogenic chemicals and process-generated chemical agents in the workplace, such as smoke, fumes, vapours and dust, and of effective ways to reduce exposure.

Finland participated in the implementation of the Roadmap by, for example, carrying out one of the projects of the Roadmap, the Challenge 1.1. This Challenge focused on improving the usability of exposure data particularly in the regulation of carcinogens. The aim of the project was to review the available sources for occupational exposure data on chemical carcinogens in Europe and to identify ways to improve their use in the setting of occupational exposure limit values, for example.

Common database would improve the accessibility of exposure data

There are a number of ongoing or recently concluded joint European and national projects that produce valuable information on occupational exposure to carcinogenic chemical agents. However, most of the available exposure data lie in the national databases of different countries and accessing them is difficult.  

The Roadmap Challenge 1.1. recommended creating a common database that would bring together the available projects and databases. The database would help to increase awareness of exposure in different sectors and to improve the comparability of exposure data.

“The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is currently piloting a common European database for occupational exposure measurement data. If implemented, this database would be a big improvement in the accessibility of exposure data,” says Piia Taxell from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

The project also examined the use of exposure data in setting occupational exposure limit values in the EU. It identified a clear need for uniform practices and guidelines to ensure that the existing data on exposure to carcinogenic substances in Europe would be used in the process for setting limit values to the best possible extent.


Tiina Santonen, Research Professor, [email protected]
Piia Taxell, Senior Specialist, [email protected]
Reetta Orsila, Ministerial Adviser, [email protected]

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