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Reproductive hazards, prevention and equality Laurent Vogel Health and Safety Department ETUI (European Trade Union Institute)

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Presentation on theme: "Reproductive hazards, prevention and equality Laurent Vogel Health and Safety Department ETUI (European Trade Union Institute)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reproductive hazards, prevention and equality Laurent Vogel Health and Safety Department ETUI (European Trade Union Institute)

2 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 2 The heritage A protectionnist and excluding legislation Who/what is protected ? How ? In the 70s: the liberal interpretation of equal opportunities: gender neutral standards. The right to be exposed to the same hazards? Still specific provisions for pregnant women

3 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 3 Maternity Protection Primary prevention is not the priority Individual approach The central role of information given by the worker When does the protection start ?

4 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 4 Reproductive hazards (1) Diversity of hazards Physical Agents Chemical Agents Biological Agents Ergonomic Factors and Work Organisation

5 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 5 Reproductive hazards (2) Diversity of effects On reproduction s.s. Libido reduction Fertility reduction (M/F) Menstrual Cycle Troubles Hormonal Troubles On fœtal and human developments Miscarriages Structural malformations Functional deficits Transgenerational impact

6 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 6 How many workers are exposed ? Poor and partial data France, Sumer 2003: workers exposed to a short list of four mutagens; to reprotoxins Netherlands, FNV survey, 662 workers in 4 branches/occupations (chemical industry, metal, wood and furniture, building painters): 253 situations of exposure with more than 200 substances. Preventive measures are scarce (5% for wood and furniture; 40 % for the chemical industry) Netherlands: half a million of workers exposed to organic solvents

7 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 7 Trade Union Survey in Madrid, 2005 BranchN° firmsToxic for embyo development Toxic for reproduction Potential endocrine disruptors Chemical Ind Manufact of non metal mineral prod Metal working Food and drink

8 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 8 Prevention today? An incoherent and ineffective jumble Invisibility for most of the hazards (amplified by the industry manipulation of science) Marketing and use of chemical substances without previous specific evaluation no correct classification no real information Lack or weakness of specific regulation Lack of monitoring in public health. Poor data in occupational health

9 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 9 The potential contribution of REACH New requirements for the evaluation of existing and new substances by the industry The volume criteria Authorisation process Will it work ? Public and social controls on REACH ?

10 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 10 For a new approach Including reprotoxins in the Carcinogens directive Evaluation How to make it possible? Obstacles: for instance, masculine infertility is a taboo Importance of branch approach Substitution as a central priority Technologic choice as a societal debate Control on prevention The International Dimension: against multinationals double standards

11 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 11 More information

12 yourname © etui (year) titleofthepresentation 12 Some sources on Internet ETUI on reproductive hazards: An Occupational Reproductive Research Agenda for the Third Millennium Workgroup Report: Implementing a National Occupational Reproductive Research Agenda--Decade One and Beyond The Faroes Statement: Human Health Effects of Developmental Exposure to Chemicals in Our Environment Liste des 50 premières substances potentiellement reprotoxiques hiérarchisées (Afsset) /31_valeurs_toxicologiques_reference_reprotox_avis_annexes _afsset.pdf /31_valeurs_toxicologiques_reference_reprotox_avis_annexes _afsset.pdf


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