This paper describes the position of the Joint Working Group of the Italian Association of Industrial Hygienists (AIDII), the Italian Society of Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene (SIMLII) and the Italian Society of Toxicology (SITOX) on "Analysis of Parliamentary Act D.Lgs 25/02 and role of the Scientific Societies in the definition of Limit Values". The positive aspects of the new law which implements the European Directive 98/24 are discussed, including the abolition of the rigid periodicity of medical examinations as stated by the old rule D.P.R. 303/56. The Authors also address various parts of the law which appear to be unclear and controversial and highlight the expected difficulties arising for the employers and the safety and health professionals during the application of this new piece of legislation. Moreover, a number of discrepancies are noted between the new Italian law and the original Directive or other current Italian rules such as i. the translation of the term "slight risk", as from the original Directive, into "moderate risk", and the resulting non compulsoriness of health surveillance and biological monitoring of the workers in presence of a "moderate risk", ii. the concurrent exclusion, under the same circumstances, of the occupational physician from risk assessment procedures and iii. the upward modification of the previously established (D.Lgs 277/91) occupational exposure limits for lead. Moreover, the Authors examine and criticize - both in semantic and in toxicological terms - a recent proposal for the definition of "moderate risk" made by an ad hoc Consulting Committee of the Labour Ministry, in which the term "moderate" has been interpreted either as "low" or as "irrelevant for health effects", clearly two very different meanings. Besides, it would be inappropriate to define the conditions of a moderate risk based only on the level of exposure to the chemical (expressed as a fraction of the corresponding limit value), without considering the two other components of risk assessment for that chemical (hazard and susceptibility). Even worse would be the use of simplified models based on "algorithms", which might be useful in a preliminary phase of risk assessment, but easily could lead to an under- or over-estimation of risk, particularly when used by non professionals. In conclusion, the Working Group recommend that the new law be amended in order to clarify its most controversial aspects, whose misinterpretation could severely jeopardize the protection of the workers' safety and health at work.
|Translated title of the contribution||Implementation of Parliamentary Act D.Lgs 2nd February 2002 N. 25 and definition of "moderate risk"|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health