The EU Regulates Beryllium
The 27 Member States of the European Union have conferred some legislative and regulatory powers to the EU level. The EU, headed by the European Commission, regularly publishes and updates Directives and Regulations on chemicals policies that must be followed or implemented by the EU Member States.
This page provides an overview of the regulations relevant to the beryllium industry.
The EU's Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (Directive 2004/37/EC) aims to protect workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace.
As beryllium has been classified as a Carcinogen 1B, it is included on the CMD list.
In 2019, the CMD was revised to lower the occupational exposure limit (OEL) of some substances, including beryllium. Until 11 July 2021, the OEL for beryllium may remain at the discretion of Member States (the current EU average is 2,000 ng/m3 (inhalable fraction) over an eight-hour time period). Between 11 July 2021 and 11 July 2026, the limit will be lowered to 600 ng/m3. Thereafter, the OEL will be limited to 200 ng/m3 over an eight-hour time period.
In 1997, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on End of Life Vehicles (ELV), which aims at making vehicle dismantling and recycling more environmentally friendly, sets clear quantified targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components and pushes producers to manufacture new vehicles also with a view to their recyclability. This legislation was officially adopted by the European Parliament and Council in September 2000. Beryllium is not on the list of substances restricted under the ELV Directive.
REACH is the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. The law entered into force on 1 June 2007. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, REACH aims to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
Beryllium is not included on the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidates for authorisation. The Risk Management Option Analysis (RMOA) published by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in 2016 concluded that Beryllium should not be included on the SVHC list.
The directives on the collection and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment and on the restriction of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment – the so-called WEEE and RoHS directives – have been in force since 2004. In 2011, a second RoHS ("EU RoHS 2") replaced the initial directive. RoHS 3 was introduced in 2015 to include an additional four substances.
Beryllium is not on the list of substances restricted under the RoHS Directive. A recent evaluation mandated by the European Commission recommended not including beryllium on the RoHS list.
EU Member States - Occupational Exposure Limits
Select an EU Member State from the list below to learn specific information on setting Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs).