The General Union of Workers and Workers celebrates that, after a delay of more than four years, Royal Decree 1029/2022, of 20 December, has finally been published, approving the regulation on health protection against the risks posed by exposure to ionizing radiation gives.
According to the World Health Organization, 3% to 14% of lung cancer deaths are related to radon, but there is a great lack of knowledge about the dangers of exposure in the workplace.
Through this Royal Decree, there is a partial transposition of Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5 December 2013, regarding the protection of health against the risks posed by radiation exposure. The deadline for transferring this directive expired on February 6, 2018, so it has taken more than four years for its complete transfer.
With the approval of this regulation, the radon exposure limit has been reduced to 300 Bq/m3, a value that provides greater protection for workers than the 600 Bq/m3 marked so far in Spain. However, the UGT has been demanding that the exposure level be reduced to 200 Bq/m3, as already established in other countries (such as Ireland, Canada, USA, etc.), and the World Health Organization reference level of 100. Is. BQ / m3.
Another important point in the transposition of this Directive is that it requires the preparation of a national radon plan which, inter alia, establishes the measurement of this gas in the workplace, to assess the risk and adopt the necessary preventive measures. measures aimed at being able to, something very positive because not taking measurements in the workplace means that many cases of work-related cancer due to exposure to radon are not identified as an occupational casualty, because if If risk is not assessed then it is as if it did not exist in the eyes of occupational risk prevention.
The UGT also appreciates that the Royal Decree establishes that the Labor Inspectorate is tasked with the Nuclear Safety Council in monitoring compliance with the obligations of work holders exposed to radon, in the case of centers or workplaces that are subject to its action. included in the scope. , To this end, the Nuclear Safety Council may sign cooperation instruments with the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate. In this sense, the union believes that this competence should have been attributed directly to the Labor Inspectorate, without the need to enter into a cooperation agreement.