Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Protecting workers from exposure to BSE

The European Commission has, at the initiative of Mr. Padraig Flynn, Commissioner for employment and social affairs (including public health matters), adopted a Directive strengthening provisions for the safety of workers with regard to exposure to bovine spongiform encephalop...
The European Commission has, at the initiative of Mr. Padraig Flynn, Commissioner for employment and social affairs (including public health matters), adopted a Directive strengthening provisions for the safety of workers with regard to exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and other related transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

The Directive strengthens existing provisions under Directive 90/679/EEC which concerns the protection of workers from risks related to exposure to biological agents at work. The decision to strengthen the Directive is motivated by the most recent scientific evidence (published on 2 October last by the Journal "Nature"), linking the BSE agent to the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) which affects humans. These new findings have provided persuasive evidence that the existing recommendations for the protection of workers against possible occupational transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and BSE, in particular, should be reinforced.

The Directive applies to all workers including those particularly at risk such as farmers, abattoir workers and laboratory pathologists.

Subjects

Biotechnology - Safety
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