Understanding CAD and CMD
Occupational exposure limit (OEL) values are adopted under two legal frameworks that form an integral part of the EU’s mechanism for protecting the health of workers. In addition, there is a specific directive on asbestos that includes an OEL for this substance.
As directives, they outline certain results that Member States need to achieve by transposing the requirements of the directives into national legislation. They set out minimum standards for worker protection. Occupational exposure limits adopted by the EU need to be integrated into the national legislative framework. By contrast, regulations such as REACH apply directly and uniformly to all Member States, without needing to be transposed into national law.
Chemical Agents Directive (CAD)
The Chemical Agents Directive (Directive 98/24/EC) sets out the minimum requirements for the protection of workers from risks to their safety and health -arising or likely to arise- from the effects of chemical agents in the workplace or the use of chemical agents at work. It lays down indicative and binding OELs, as well as biological limit values.
A chemical agent is defined as any chemical substance, on its own or in a mixture that occurs in its natural state or is produced, used or released (including release as waste) by any work activity. This applies whether or not the substance is produced intentionally or is to be placed on the market. The Directive therefore also covers the evaluation of emissions and process wastes.
Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD)
The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (Directive 2004/37/EC) sets out the minimum requirements for protecting workers against risks to their health and safety -arising or likely to arise- from exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work. It lays down preventive and protective measures, as well as exposure limits.
The Directive applies to a substance or mixture that meets the criteria for classification as a Category 1A or 1B carcinogen or Category 1A or 1B germ cell mutagen set out in Annex I to the CLP Regulation. In addition, it applies to carcinogenic substances, mixtures or processes referred to in Annex I to the Directive, as well as a substances or mixtures released by a process in that annex.