Public Health Committee (CD-P-SP)

 

Ministers' Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2000)127 29 August 2000
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724 Meeting, 4 October 2000
6 Social cohesion

6.1 Public Health Committee (CD-P-SP)
Report of the 65th session

(Strasbourg, 26 June 2000)

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PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE (CD-P-SP)

65th session

Strasbourg, 26 June 2000

 

REPORT

 

Distribution

FOR ACTION:

- DELEGATIONS AND LIAISON SECTIONS OF THE MEMBER STATES OF THE PARTIAL AGREEMENT PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE (CD-P-SP) (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom)

FOR INFORMATION:

Committee of Ministers restricted to Representatives of the member States of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

 

Strasbourg

 

FOREWORD

At its 65th session, the Public Health Committee:

1. was informed that the Representatives, on the Committee of Ministers, of the member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field, at the 698th and 702nd meetings held in Strasbourg on 9 February and on 15 March 2000, respectively:

1.1. had asked the Public Health Committee to draw up an opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1445 (2000) on health security for Europe’s population and 1446 (2000) on a ban on antibiotics in food production;

1.2. had adopted Resolution AP (2000) 1 on the classification of medicines which are obtainable only on medical prescription;

1.3. had taken note of the report of the 64th session of the CD-P-SP in its entirety;

2. adopted an opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety (Appendix C to this report);

3. asked the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health to draw up a draft opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1445 (2000) on health security for Europe’s population and 1446 (2000) on a ban on antibiotics in food production;

4. approved the record of the 45th session of the Committee of experts on pharmaceutical questions;

4.1. deferred approval of the draft resolution on the pharmacist’s role in the framework of health security to its next session;

5. approved the record of the 37th session of the Committee of experts on materials coming into contact with food;

6. approved the record of the 46th session of the Committee of experts on flavouring substances;

7. approved the record of the 33rd session of the Committee of experts on cosmetic products;

8. approved the record of the 2nd session of the ad hoc Group of experts on health protection against dangers of asbestos;

8.1. approved the draft Resolution AP (2000) … on the prevention of asbestos-induced health risks for workers (Appendix D to this report).

 

ITEMS SUBMITTED TO THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

The Committee of Ministers, in its composition limited to the Representatives of the member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field 1 , is invited to:

1. consider the opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety (Appendix C to this report);

2. consider draft Resolution AP (2000) … on the prevention of asbestos-induced health risks for workers (Appendix D to this report) with a view to its adoption.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION, ELECTION OF THE CHAIR AND ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

2. DECISIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

2.1 Ad hoc terms of reference – Opinions on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations

2.1.1 Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety

2.1.2 Recommendations1445 (2000) on health security for Europe’s population and 1446 (2000) on ban on antibiotics in food production.

3. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON PHARMACEUTICAL QUESTIONS (P-SP-PH)

3.1 Seminar on "the pharmacist at the crossroads of new health risks: an indispensable partner for their management!"

4. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON NUTRITION, FOOD SAFETY AND CONSUMER HEALTH (P-SP-NU)

5. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON MATERIALS COMING INTO CONTACT WITH FOOD (P-SP-CDA)

6. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON FLAVOURING SUBSTANCES (P-SP-AR)

7. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS (P-SP-CO)

8. AD HOC GROUP OF EXPERTS ON HEALTH PROTECTION AGAINST DANGERS OF ASBESTOS (P-SP-AMI)

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

10. DATE AND VENUE OF THE NEXT SESSION

APPENDIX A    LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

APPENDIX B  PRELIMINARY DRAFT AGENDA FOR THE 66th SESSION

APPENDIX C  OPINION ON PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY RECOMMANDATIONS 1389 (1998) ON CONSUMER SAFETY AND FOOD QUALITY AND 1417 (1999) ON DIOXIN CRISIS AND FOOD SAFETY

APPENDIX D  DRAFT RESOLUTION AP (2000) … ON THE PREVENTION OF ASBESTOS-INDUCED HEALTH RISKS FOR WORKERS

 

1. INTRODUCTION, ELECTION OF THE CHAIR AND ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

Mrs Giulia PODESTÀ LE POITTEVIN, Head of the Partial Agreement Department in the Social and Public Health field, opened the meeting and welcomed participants on behalf of the Secretary General.

On a proposal by the delegate of LUXEMBOURG, Mr R.A. KINGHAM, delegate of the United Kingdom, was elected Chairperson for the sessions in the year 2000.

Mr R.A. KINGHAM welcomed delegations, in particular Ms Kaija Hasunen and Dr Risto Pomoell, delegates from Finland and Ms Delphine Sordat, delegate from Switzerland, who took part in the Committee’s work for the first time.

The draft agenda, as set out in document CD-P-SP (2000) 34, was adopted, subject to a change in the order of business.

Delegations’ apologies were noted.

2. DECISIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

Documents:

P-SP-DEC (99) 4 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers, adopted at the 692nd meeting held in Strasbourg on 15 December 1999, concerning the Public Health Committee (CD-P-SP) (see Item 3.1 on this draft Agenda)

P-SP-DEC (2000) 1 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers, adopted at the 698th meeting held in Strasbourg on 9 February 2000, concerning the Public Health Committee

P-SP-DEC (2000) 2 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers, adopted at the 702nd meeting held in Strasbourg on 15 March 2000, concerning the Public Health Committee

Mrs LE POITTEVIN informed the Committee of the above decisions.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

1. TOOK NOTE of the above decisions;

2. WELCOMED the ratification by the Slovenian National Assembly (end of May) of that country’s accession to the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health field.

 

2.1 Ad hoc terms of reference – Opinions on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations

2.1.1 Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety

Documents:

P-SP-DEC (99) 2 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers, adopted at the 676th and 677th bis meetings held in Strasbourg on 1-2 and 7 July and on 27 and 28 July 1999, respectively, concerning the Public Health Committee - Ad hoc terms of reference given to it by the Committee of Ministers

P-SG (2000) 13 Revised draft opinion on Recommendation 1389 (1998) of the Parliamentary Assembly on consumer safety and food quality and on Recommendation 1417 (1999) of the Parliamentary Assembly on dioxin crisis and food safety

The delegations discussed the revised draft opinion presented by Mr Lauri SIVONEN, Secretary to the P-SP-NU.

The delegate of FRANCE stressed that, due to the likely duplication of work with other international organisations (notably the Commission of the European Communities, Codex Alimentarius and WHO), France was not in favour of elaborating a pan-European framework convention on food safety as proposed by the Parliamentary Assembly. Nevertheless, he pointed out that the proposed enlargement of the Partial Agreement merited further consideration since especially those countries which were not members of the European Union would be able to develop their capabilities in the field of health safety within the Partial Agreement. Furthermore, the delegate of FRANCE was in favour of close co-operation with the European Food Agency to be set up by the European Commission if the respective fields of action between the Council of Europe, the Commission of the European Communities and WHO were clearly defined.

The delegation of FINLAND supported the comments expressed by the delegate of FRANCE.

The delegate of the UNITED KINGDOM reiterated the concerns about possible duplication of work with other international organisations and a possible pan-European framework convention of the Council of Europe.

The delegate of LUXEMBOURG pointed out that she would not oppose a negative opinion vis-à-vis the Parliamentary Assembly proposal to elaborate a pan-European framework convention on food safety.

The delegate of GERMANY informed the Committee that she was not in a position to withdraw the German reservations as regards the Council of Europe’s involvement in the setting-up of a European Food Agency.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

1. AGREED that the following sentence should be integrated in paragraph 4 of the revised draft opinion presented to the Committee: "In the light of concerns about duplication of work with other international organisations (notably the Commission of the European Communities, WHO, FAO and the Codex Alimentarius Commission), the Public Health Committee is not convinced of the necessity to elaborate a pan-European framework convention on food safety within the Council of Europe as proposed by the Parliamentary Assembly.";

2. ADOPTED the opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety as set out in Appendix C to this report.

2.1.2 Recommendations 1445 (2000) on health security for Europe’s population and 1446 (2000) on a ban on antibiotics in food production

Document:

P-SP-DEC (2000) 1 Decisions of the Committee of Ministers, adopted at the 698th meeting held in Strasbourg on 9 February 2000, concerning the Public Health Committee

The delegations discussed the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations, which were submitted by the Committee of Ministers to the Committee for opinion.

The delegate of GERMANY made a statement concerning Recommendation 1446 (2000) on the ban on antibiotics in food production. She pointed out that the recommendation failed to mention the fact that the inappropriate and excessive use of antibiotics in human medicine itself was a significant, if not the predominant, cause underlining the development of antimicrobial resistance. Since the recommendation simply attributed the causes of antimicrobial resistance to practices related to animal husbandry, it presented an unbalanced view by implying that stock farmers alone were to blame for the situation. The delegate of GERMANY underlined that measures to prevent antimicrobial resistance would only be successful if an integrated approach were pursued, i.e. where all areas of antibiotics use were involved.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

ASKED the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health (P- SP-NU) to draw up a draft opinion on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1445 (2000) on health security for Europe’s population and 1446 (2000) on a ban on antibiotics in food production.

 

3. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON PHARMACEUTICAL QUESTIONS
(P-SP-PH)

Document:

CD-P-SP (2000) 10     Record of the 45th session

Mr Angel RUIZ DE VALBUENA, Secretary of the Committee of experts, presented the record of the 45th session of the Committee of experts and informed delegates on progress made in the work programme:

- Achieved activities:

Study on the use of generic medicines, final report CD-P-SP/T (2000) 27

Comparative information on the importation of unregistered medicines, final report CD-P-SP/T (2000) 28

- Activities currently in progress:

Questionnaire on self-medication policies

Drafting of a document on good manufacturing practice for preparations made up in a community pharmacy

Questionnaire on systems for the prescription, supply and administration of medicines in hospitals

- Future activities:

The Committee of experts had decided to undertake the drafting of a guide to pharmaceutical good practices for the Internet (GIP); it also will discuss on the possibility to set up an independent European centre to evaluate the quality of information about medicines disseminated on the Internet.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE APPROVED the record of the 45th session of the Committee of experts on pharmaceutical questions.

3.1 Seminar on "the pharmacist at the crossroads of new health risks: an indispensable partner for their management!"

Documents:

CD-P-SP (2000) 10, App. D Draft Resolution on the pharmacist’s role in the framework of health security

P-SP-DEC (99) 4 Extension of the special account devoted to Seminars on pharmacists' training and pharmaceutical practice

The ad hoc Editorial Committee (which was set up by the needs of the follow-up to the Seminar: Proceedings, stocktaking and draft resolution) had now finished its work: the Proceedings were available on the Partial Agreement web site and a "paper" edition would be published before September, as well as the edition of the Stocktaking of the Seminar.

The draft Resolution AP (2000) … on the pharmacist’s role in the framework of health security had been approved by the Committee of experts on pharmaceutical questions and it was submitted to the Public Health Committee, for approval.

Health security was defined as "the security of individuals against all forms of risk associated with choices of therapy, preventive and diagnostic care and treatment, the use of healthcare products, and the actions and decisions of health authorities".

The draft resolution tried to improve the pharmacist's role (either in community, hospital or industry) in the management of new health risks (such as new therapies, counterfeited medicines, iatrogenic effects or self-medication risks) as well as to optimize the use of new information technologies by the pharmacist, in particular the good use of Internet in the pharmaceutical field and the setting-up of communication networks between the professionals acting in the health system.

According to the draft resolution, in order to reconcile quality with the need to keep costs down, the contribution of the pharmacist to quality improvement and cost control should be recognised and the regulatory framework should ensure a role for pharmacists at every stage of the medication chain.

Delegations, in particular those of FRANCE and FINLAND, discussed the advisability of improving this draft resolution. Dr Pomoell (FINLAND) noticed that in his opinion the draft resolution did not take account of the various methods of the exercise of the pharmaceutical profession in Europe, that the role of the pharmacist within the teams of care of health was not sufficiently clarified and that some measures recommended in this text seemed rather far away from the "commercial" character of the professional exercise of pharmacy, in particular of that of the community pharmacy. The delegate of FRANCE supported the criticisms expressed by his Finnish colleague.

The other delegations expressed themselves in favour of a revision of this text by the Committee of experts on pharmaceutical questions.

Furthermore, the Committee was also informed of the extension, until 31 December 2003, of the special account devoted to Seminars on pharmacists' training and pharmaceutical practice.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

1. ASKED delegations to send their comments on the draft Resolution, by 15 September 2000, to the Secretariat;

2. ASKED the Committee of experts on pharmaceutical questions to revise, at its 46th session, the text of the draft resolution, in the light of the written comments which will be provided by the Public Health Committee delegations;

3. TOOK NOTE of the information provided by the Secretariat concerning the extension of the special account on "Pharmacist" Seminars.

 

4. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON NUTRITION, FOOD SAFETY AND CONSUMER HEALTH (P-SP-NU)

Pro memoria. The annual meeting of the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health will be held from 10 to 11 October 2000.

 

5. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON MATERIALS COMING INTO CONTACT WITH FOOD (P-SP-CDA)

Document:

CD-P-SP (2000) 28     Record of the 37th session

Mr Peter BAUM, Secretary of the Committee of experts, presented the record of the 37th session of the Committee of experts and informed delegates on progress made in the work programme.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

1. NOTED that the work programme concerning food contact materials was well co-ordinated between the Council of Europe and the Commission of the European Communities;

2. APPROVED the record of the 37th session of the Committee of experts on materials coming into contact with food.

 

6. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON FLAVOURING SUBSTANCES (P-SP-AR)

Document:

CD-P-SP (2000) 26       Record of the 46th session

Mr Peter BAUM, Secretary of the Committee of experts, presented the record of the 37th session of the Committee of experts and informed delegates on progress made in the work programme.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

1. NOTED that the 1st Report of the 4th edition of the ‘Blue Book (Vol. II) on natural sources of flavourings, which would include 101 source materials evaluated by the Committee of experts, would be published in July 2000;

2. APPROVED the record of the 46th session of the Committee of experts on flavouring substances.

 

7. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS (P-SP-CO)

Document:

CD-P-SP (2000) 12      Record of the 33rd session

Mr Angel RUIZ DE VALBUENA, Secretary of the Committee of experts, presented the record of the 33rd session of the Committee of experts and informed delegates on progress made in the work programme:

- Activities recently concluded:

Comparative study on borderline products and borderline situations: the result of this exercise would be published later in the year.

A guideline on good manufacturing practice for cosmetic products, jointly drafted by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, would soon be adopted by the E.C.

Study on plants and plant preparations used as ingredients for cosmetic products: the second (and final) part of the toxicological evaluation was completed and this publication was planned for the 2nd half of this year.

- Activities currently in progress:

Active principles used in cosmetics

Adverse reactions to cosmetics

Advertising and claims of cosmetics

Essential oils from plants used as ingredients for cosmetics

Evaluation study of risks arising from the use of permanent make-up and tattooing products.

Conclusions

The COMMITTEE

APPROVED the record of the 33rd session of the Committee of experts on cosmetic products.

 

8. AD HOC GROUP OF EXPERTS ON HEALTH PROTECTION AGAINST DANGERS OF ASBESTOS (P-SP-AMI)

Documents:

CD-P-SP (2000) 04     Record of the 2nd session

CORRIGENDUM to Appendix C to document CD-P-SP (2000) 04

Draft Resolution AP (2000) … on the prevention of asbestos-induced health risks for workers, as slightly amended by the Directorate General of Legal Affairs

Mrs LE POITTEVIN, who had chaired the two sessions of the ad hoc Group of Experts, presented the above-mentioned draft resolution in its broad lines.

Conclusions

THE COMMITTEE

1. NOTED with satisfaction the outcome of the work of the ad hoc Group of Experts;

2. APPROVED the record of the 2nd session of the ad hoc Group of Experts (CD-P-SP (2000) 04, Appendix C of which had been revised);

3. APPROVED the draft Resolution AP (2000) … on the prevention of asbestos-induced health risks for workers, as set out in Appendix D to this report;

4. RECALLED that, at its 1st session (Strasbourg, 2 and 3 December 1999), the ad hoc Group of Experts, with reference to Resolution AP (81) 5, had "agreed, as far as the revised version of the Resolution was concerned, to keep to the field covered by the existing text: the health and safety of workers;", but had "recommended that the Public Health Committee of the Partial Agreement (CD-P-SP) consider preparing a similar instrument covering the protection of the health of the population in general;"(cf record CD-P-SP (99) 63, item 3, conclusions 2 and 3);

5. DEFERRED to its 66th session a decision as to the convening of an ad hoc Group of Experts entrusted with the drawing up of a draft resolution on the protection of the health of the population in general against dangers of asbestos.

 

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

None.

 

10. DATE AND VENUE OF THE NEXT SESSION

The Committee agreed to hold its 66th session on TUESDAY 12 December 2000 (9h30 to 12h00), in conjunction with the CDSP's session.

 

APPENDIX A

LISTE DES PARTICIPANTS/ LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

AUTRICHE/AUSTRIA

Mrs Verena GREGORICH-SCHEGA, Director, International Relations Department, Federal Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (VIII/B/9)

 

BELGIQUE/BELGIUM

-

CHYPRE/CYPRUS

-

DANEMARK/DENMARK

-

FINLANDE/FINLAND

Ms Taru MIKKOLA, Senior Advisor, International Affairs Unit, Ministry Social Affairs and Health

Ms Kaija HASUNEN, Ministerial Adviser, Department of Prevention and Promotion, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Mr Risto POMOELL, Medical Adviser, Department for Social and Health Services, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

 

FRANCE

M André ERNST, Chargé de mission pour les Affaires Européennes - Direction générale de la Santé, Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité

 

ALLEMAGNE/GERMANY

Mrs Marinetta DROBEK, Official in Charge, Federal Ministry for Health, Division for Multilateral Cooperation in the Field of Health

 

IRLANDE/IRELAND

Mrs Mary AYLWARD, International Unit, Department of Health and Children

 

ITALIE/ITALY

-

LUXEMBOURG

Dr Margot MULLER, Médecin Chef de Division, Division de la Médecine Scolaire

 

PAYS-BAS/NETHERLANDS

-

NORVEGE/NORWAY

Dr Jens R. ESKERUD, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Department of Hospital Policy

 

PORTUGAL

-

 

ESPAGNE/SPAIN

Dr José Juan SANCHEZ SAEZ (excusé/apologise for absence), Sous-Directeur

Centre National de l’Alimentation, Instituto de Salud "Carlos III", Ministère de la Santé

et de la Consommation

 

SUEDE/SWEDEN

-

SUISSE/SWITZERLAND

Mme F. GAILLAT ENGELI (Excusée/Apologies for absence),

Cheffe-suppléante Affaires Internationales, Office fédéral de la Santé publique

Mme Delphine SORDAT, Collaboratrice scientifique, Office fédéral de la santé publique

Affaires internationales

 

ROYAUME-UNI/UNITED KINGDOM

Mr R. A. KINGHAM (PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN),

International Branch, Department of Health

 

AUTRE PARTICIPANT/OTHER PARTICIPANT

 

COMMISSION DES COMMUNAUTES EUROPEENNES/COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES

-

INVITE/GUEST

 

SLOVENIE/SLOVENIA

Dr Vlasta MOCNIK DRNOVSEK, Counsellor to the Government, Ministry of Health

 

SECRETARIAT

DIRECTION GENERALE III - COHESION SOCIALE

DIRECTORATE GENERAL III - SOCIAL COHESION

Accord Partiel dans le domaine social et de la santé publique

Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field

 

Mme Giulia PODESTÀ LE POITTEVIN, Chef du Service /Head of Department

M Peter BAUM, Administrateur Principal/Principal Administrative Officer

M Angel RUIZ DE VALBUENA, Administrateur/Administrative Officer

Mme Sheila BOULAJOUN, Assistante administrative principale/Principal Administrative Assistant

Mme Angamah RAMEN, Assistante/Assistant

 

INTERPRETES/INTERPRETERS

Mlle Barbara GRUT

Mme Nadine KIEFFER

M Jean SLAVIK

 

 

APPENDIX B

PRELIMINARY DRAFT AGENDA FOR THE 66th SESSION

 

1. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

 

2. DECISIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

 

3. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON PHARMACEUTICAL QUESTIONS (P-SP-PH)

 

4. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON NUTRITION, FOOD SAFETY AND CONSUMER HEALTH (P-SP-NU) - p.m.

 

5. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON MATERIALS COMING INTO CONTACT WITH FOOD (P-SP-CDA)

 

6. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON FLAVOURING SUBSTANCES (P-SP-AR)

 

7. COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON COSMETIC PRODUCTS (P-SP-CO)

 

8. AD HOC GROUP OF EXPERTS ON HEALTH PROTECTION AGAINST DANGERS OF ASBESTOS (P-SP-AMI) – Follow-up

 

9. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

 

10. DATE AND VENUE OF THE NEXT SESSION

 

 

APPENDIX C

OPINION ON PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY RECOMMENDATIONS 1389 (1998) ON CONSUMER SAFETY AND FOOD QUALITY AND 1417 (1999) ON DIOXIN CRISIS AND FOOD SAFETY

1. After having considered the position of the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health (P-SP-NU) on Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations 1389 (1998) on consumer safety and food quality and 1417 (1999) on dioxin crisis and food safety as presented in the draft opinion appended to the record of the 3rd session of the Committee of Experts (CD-P-SP (99) 26, Appendix C), the Public Health Committee (CD-P-SP) expressed the following opinion on the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations.

2. The Public Health Committee welcomes the Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations and shares many of the concerns expressed by the Parliamentary Assembly as regards consumer protection and food safety. The Committee underlines that the work of three of its subsidiary bodies, i.e. the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health (P-SP-NU), the Committee of experts on flavouring substances (P-SP-AR) and the Committee of experts on materials coming to contact with food (P-SP-CDA), is aimed at the best possible protection of consumer safety and health in their respective fields. The work of these Committees of experts is carried out in close co-operation with other international organisations concerned. The active participation of the Commission of the European Communities in these Committees is particularly noteworthy.

3. The recent publication, by the Committee of experts on nutrition, food safety and consumer health, of a report on dioxin contamination in foodstuffs responds to many of the concerns brought to the fore by the recent dioxin crisis through its recommendations on source-directed measures and risk management in foods. The Committee of experts will persist in its efforts to enhance food safety in Europe through its present activities on new foods and stored product protection as well as by the exchange of information on the current topics in this field. The Public Health Committee stresses, nevertheless, that in addition to food safety, the work of the Committee of experts is focused on nutrition and the promotion of healthy diets as a pressing public health concern.

4. In the light of concerns about duplication of work with other international organisations (notably the Commission of the European Communities, WHO, FAO and the Codex Alimentarius Commission), the Public Health Committee is not convinced of the necessity to elaborate a pan-European framework convention on food safety within the Council of Europe as proposed by the Parliamentary Assembly. Nevertheless, the Public Health Committee endorses the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly on the desirability of those member states of the Council of Europe which are not yet members of the Partial Agreement in the social and public health field to join it so that they can participate in its activities regarding food safety.

5. Furthermore, the Public Health Committee is aware that food safety and consumer protection raise issues related to ethics, biotechnology and animal husbandry, and recognises the pertinence of the work on these themes carried out by other Council of Europe bodies, i.e. the Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) and the Standing Committee of the European Convention on the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes (T-AP).

 

APPENDIX D

DRAFT RESOLUTION AP (2000) …

ON THE PREVENTION OF ASBESTOS-INDUCED HEALTH RISKS FOR WORKERS

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …….. 2000, at the … meeting

of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, in its composition restricted to the Representatives of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, member states of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field,

Recalling Resolution (59) 23 of 16 November 1959, concerning the extension of the activities of the Council of Europe in the social and cultural fields;

Having regard to Resolution (96) 35 of 2 October 1996, whereby it revised the structures of the Partial Agreement and resolved to continue, on the basis of revised rules replacing those set out in Resolution (59) 23, the activities hitherto carried out and developed by virtue of that resolution; these being aimed in particular at:

a. raising the level of health protection of consumers in its widest sense, including a constant contribution to harmonising – in the field of products having a direct or indirect impact on the human food chain as well as in the field of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics – legislation, regulations and practices governing, on the one hand, quality, efficiency and safety controls for products and, on the other hand, the safe use of toxic or noxious products;

b. integrating people with disabilities into the community; defining – and contributing to its implementation at European level – of a model of coherent policy for people with disabilities, which takes account simultaneously of the principles of full citizenship and independent living; contributing to the elimination of barriers to integration, whatever their nature, whether psychological, educational, family-related, cultural, social, professional, financial or architectural;

Having regard to the action carried out for several years for the purposes of harmonising legislation in the public health field and, in particular, in the protection of the health and safety at work sector;

Recalling Resolution AP (81) 5 on technical and personal protective measures for the prevention of exposure of workers to asbestos dust;

Having regard to Article 3 of the European Social Charter (STE N° 35 of 18 October

1961, entered into force on 26 February 1965);

 

Having regard to Article 3 of the Revised European Social Charter (STE N° 163 of 3

May 1996, entered into force on 1st July 1999);

Having regard to Recommendation 1369 (1998) of the Parliamentary Assembly on dangers of asbestos for workers and the environment and particularly to paragraph 8, i;

Having regard to the Directive of the Commission of the European Communities 97/42/EC of 27 June 1997 amending for the first time the Directive of the Council of the European Union 90/394/EEC of 28 June 1990 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens at work (sixth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC);

Having regard to the conclusions of the Council of the European Union of 7 April 1998 on the advisability of revising the Council Directive 91/382/EEC of 25 June 1991 amending Directive 83/477/EEC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (second individual Directive within the meaning of Article 8 of Directive 80/1107/EEC) and of banning asbestos;

Having regard to the own-initiative Opinion on asbestos, adopted by the Economic and Social Committee of the European Communities at its 362nd plenary session, on 24 and 25 March 1999, stating that as a point of principle the European Union should introduce total ban on the first use of all asbestos;

Having regard to the Directive of the Commission of the European Communities 1999/77/EC of 26 July 1999 adapting to technical progress for the sixth time Annex I to Council Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member states relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (asbestos);

Having regard to Convention 162 and Recommendation 172 concerning the safety in the use of asbestos, both adopted on 24 June 1986 by the International Labour Conference;

Considering that safeguarding the health and safety of workers is an important element of social progress;

Considering that risk assessment is an essential part of the decision process on preventive measures at the workplace;

Considering that information on the presence of asbestos in structures is essential for the risk assessment for the purposes of adopting preventive measures at the workplace;

Considering that exposure to asbestos fibres generally affects the lungs and other organs and has caused a large number of deaths through diseases of a progressive and incurable nature, such as asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs), lung cancer and mesothelioma;

Considering that asbestos in buildings and waste raises public health concerns;

Considering that chrysotile can cause adverse health effects similar to those from crocidolite and amosite, though the risks entailed by chrysotile are lower;

Considering that continued use of asbestos could entail the further dissemination of asbestos in structures;

Considering the major effort necessary for the safe management of asbestos in existing structures;

Stressing that for most applications asbestos can be replaced by suitable alternative products;

Considering the importance of controlling exposure during operations such as maintenance, reconstruction and demolition;

Considering the importance of reliable measurement of asbestos in air, taking into account recognised variations between laboratories and technicians;

Considering that 13 member states of this Partial Agreement (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom) have now imposed a ban (with exceptions) on the use (manufacture, transformation, placing on the market, importation and exportation) of asbestos,

Recommends that the governments of the member states of the Partial Agreement in the social and public health field adopt legislative or other measures on the prevention of asbestos-induced health risks for workers in order to implement the provisions contained in the Appendix, each government remaining free to impose stricter regulations;

Resolves that this resolution shall replace the above-mentioned Resolution AP (81) 5.

 

APPENDIX TO RESOLUTION AP (2000)…

1. Introduction

1.1 The manufacture, transformation, placing on the market, importation, exportation and use of asbestos or asbestos-containing materials are prohibited.

1.2 The use of asbestos may be authorised in exceptional circumstances where there is no substitute for it which:

- has been scientifically shown to be less harmful than asbestos to anyone working with the materials, products or apparatus concerned;

- offers all the technical safety guarantees appropriate to the use to which it is to be put.

2. Activities

2.1 Employees are exposed to asbestos through their work:

removal or encapsulation of asbestos, contact with asbestos during

maintenance or demolition work and, where exceptionally authorised,

manufacturing and use.

2.2 Prevention measures include:

- general measures applying to the various activities mentioned in 2.1.;

- special measures applying to the removal or encapsulation of asbestos;

- special measures applying to servicing and maintenance work.

3. General measures

The governments should lay down regulations in order to establish obligations of the various partners concerned: competent authorities, such as labour inspectorates; employers.

All inhalation of asbestos dust should be avoided or - where this cannot be achieved - the concentration of asbestos fibres in the air should be reduced to the lowest possible level and certainly below statutory exposure limits.

Known asbestos in buildings, if accessible, should be inspected regularly, to ensure that it is in good condition and well encapsulated.

3.1. Employers must assess the risks in order to determine, in particular, the nature, length and level of employees’ exposure.

3.2. Employers must provide information for each task that exposes employees to asbestos, explaining the dangers to which their work exposes them and the measures taken to counter the risks.

3.3. Employers must provide appropriate information to staff representatives, to the occupational physicians and, according to national regulations, to competent authorities.

3.4. Before work begins at a new site, employers must enquire, possibly with the owner of the building or by inspection, about a possible presence of asbestos. They must inform those concerned of the risk. The information given must include, where appropriate

- the purpose of the work;

- the nature of the work;

- the risks involved;

- asbestos dust monitoring, environment monitoring and/or individual sampling monitoring as well as monitoring linked to the process control;

- control measures and procedures;

- the accessibility to the results of the above-mentioned monitoring;

- emergency procedures;

- who does what.

3.5. All employees who may be exposed to asbestos hazards (technical supervisors, site supervisors, operatives and other staff) must receive suitable training.

3.6. Employers must arrange servicing and maintenance programmes for personal protective equipments with quality checks, record keeping and training.

3.7. Compulsory medical monitoring of employees exposed to asbestos should differ according to the type of exposure.

3.8. Occupational hygienists must be informed and consulted about risk assessment procedures; they must assess exposure levels in order to define the most adapted preventive measures. They should participate in information and training activities of employees.

3.9. Employers must keep an up-to-date list of employees and record of the work which each performs and, if known, the levels of exposure to which they are subjected, the length of exposure, the breathing equipment used and how long it is worn. The files must be kept for at least 40 years; the competent authorities must ensure the proper keeping of those files if the company closes down.

3.10. a) Waste of all kinds and empty wrapping materials that may release asbestos fibres must be put in suitable containers and treated to prevent them from spreading dust during handling, transport or storage.

b) Waste containing asbestos must be kept separate from other waste, identified and placed in airtight bags or containers clearly labelled with the symbol "a" as specified in Directive 83/478/EEC of 19 September 1983.

c) When waste containing very low concentrations of asbestos is being recycled, the employer must give evidence for the safe use of this material, in which the asbestos content should be below 0.01 % by weight.

3.11. Whenever it is foreseeable that the nature of work may lead to exposures which approach the control limits, employers must regularly carry out measurements so as not to exceed the limits.

If there is any alteration of equipment or conditions which may affect asbestos fibre emissions, further checks must be performed.

The measurement of asbestos in bulk materials and air must be made by a laboratory:

- independent of the employer conducting the work with asbestos;

- accredited for those measurements by a laboratory proficiency testing scheme agreed by the member states.

Measurement of the asbestos in air should be carried out according to the WHO (World Health Organization) 1997 "Determination of airborne fibre number concentration" or to more detailed methods adopted at national level such as French Standard NFX 44-013 and COFRAC programme 144.

4. Special measures applying to the removal or encapsulation of asbestos

Companies carrying out such work must prove that they are competent to do so and show that they have the appropriate human and technical resources.

The competent authorities should be notified of any plan of removal.

Removed asbestos should be disposed of carefully in agreed areas and not recycled.

4.1. Human resources:

- sufficient staff (in order to limit the adverse effects linked to the duration of wearing the individual protective equipment) and with permanent employment contracts (with the aim to ensure the best possible training of workers, their mastering of their work and their medical surveillance);

- staff with special asbestos-hazard training appropriate to his or her work;

- staff under medical surveillance being fit for wearing protective breathing equipment.

4.2. Technical resources:

a) the company must prove its ability to conduct an analysis of the risks taking the following parameters into account

- the nature and duration of the work to be done;

- working methods;

- the environment of the workstation;

- the operators.

Once the analysis has been carried out, the company must draw up a work plan and apply collective preventive measures (containment of the site by installation of temporary enclosures and airlocks) and individual preventive measures (use of disposable clothing, compressed-air protective breathing equipment and showers).

b) The company must ensure training, which must lead to a qualification and must therefore include an assessment of the knowledge acquired and cover the following areas:

- identification, evaluation and control of risk;

- deciding what preventive measures to take and implementing them; in what circumstances the various collective and individual protection measures are to be applied;

- procedures and working instructions.

c) The operating methods must reflect the company’s expertise, particularly its ability to: conduct a risk assessment in order to lay down prevention criteria and decide the appropriate methods; manage equipment; set up the work site; decide on appropriate collective and individual protection; and waste management.

d) After the removal has taken place and the area has been fully cleaned, clearance inspection and measurement (air, surfaces) must be carried out.

5. Special measures applying to the servicing and maintenance

The risk is not always localised, but affects a large number of people.

5.1. Employers must find out whether any asbestos is present in the area of work before servicing or maintenance work may be carried out.

5.2. Employers must assess, by any other means that is appropriate to the type of work to be carried out, the risk of asbestos presence in the equipment or plant to be serviced.

5.3. According to the risk assessed, measures to reduce the emission and transmission of dust must be implemented.

5.4. Workers must be given personal protective equipment (such as clothing and breathing equipment), according to the risk assessed.


1 Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom



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