Formacare, the formaldehyde sector group of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), recently presented new results from the Voluntary Agreement to reduce workplace exposure to formaldehyde across Europe. Following the agreement that most of the formaldehyde producers in Europe are now part of, reported formaldehyde exposure at workplaces in Europe in 2020 was:

  • 58.2% of the surveyed workers were not exposed at all to formaldehyde
  • 41.5% were exposed below the upcoming EU legal limit of 0.3 ppm
  • 0.3% were exposed beyond the upcoming EU legal limit of 0.3 ppm

"The results have again confirmed the commitment of the formaldehyde sector to ensure the highest levels of protection for its workers," said Lars Eric Johansson, chairman of Formacare. "Formacare members support those with difficulties in improving their results by sharing the best available technical know-how to ensure the highest standards in workplace safety are reached. This is key to the success of a thriving industrial sector in Europe."

The Voluntary Agreement commits the vast majority of formaldehyde production in Europe, covering 16 countries across Europe (13 in 2019); 23 company members of Formacare have now signed the voluntary agreement, which is four more than in 2019. The agreement was signed by Formacare members in May 2019, building on a collaboration with trade unions and employers’ groups at the European Union level to jointly advocate for binding OEL values of 0.3 ppm to enhance worker safety. This proposed value was adopted under the third amendment to the EU Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD3) to be the new EU Binding Occupational Exposure Limit (BOEL), which enters into force July 11, 2021. The voluntary agreement was put in place to speed up the application of these measures two years ahead of the legal transposition of CMD3.

To learn more about the Voluntary Agreement, visit Learn more about the European Chemical Industry Council at