Finland issues decree to reduce work-related cancers

Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Finland has adopted a decree (Finnish) that defines the binding limit values for 22 new carcinogens that employers must abide by with the aim of reducing work-related cancers. 

The binding limit values focus on substances identified as occupational carcinogens that may cause occupational cancers, such as quartz and diesel exhaust. Asbestos is subject to separate legislation. 

The new limits correspond to those of the EU directives, and almost all of the threshold values for carcinogens that were added to the regulation already had the same national occupational exposure limit values — known as harmful concentrations. Employers must take into account the human toxicity potential values when identifying and evaluating work hazards and designing the work environment.

In Finland, employers are required by law to maintain a list of carcinogenic or mutagenic substances, compounds and working methods used at the workplace. Employers must also maintain a list of employees exposed and report them to the ASA register maintained by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. As of 1 Jan 2020, the ASA registration obligation was updated to reflect the new factors. 

Related resources

  • Decree (Finnish) (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)
  • Press release (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 18 Dec 2019) 
Sirkka Linden
by Sirkka Linden

Senior Associate, Mercer Health

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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