About the SHEcan Project - Aims and Objectives

Project aim

There are more than 170 chemicals or exposure circumstances that have been classifed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as known or probable human carcinogens (Groups 1 and 2a, respectively). In addition, there are 250 substances or circumstances that are classifed as possibly carcinogenic in humans (Group 2b).   In the European Union occupational exposure to a number of carcinogenic substances is regulated through the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC).

The SHEcan project project was about the socioeconomic, health and environmental impact of possible amendments to the European Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC). Hence the project acronym SHEcan.

At the inception of the SHEcan project the European Commission planned to revise the Directive, but before making any changes they wish to undertake a health, socioeconomic and environmental impact study of the proposals.   The project aim was to provide a robust assessment of the health, socioeconomic and environmental impacts associated with a range of policy options concerning possible future amendments to Directive 2004/37/EC. The purpose of the assessment is to enable the European Commission (EC) to initiate informed discussions with stakeholders about those possible developments.  


Specific objectives of SHEcan were to evaluate the impact of:

In each case the assessment considered the impact in terms of the health of workers and others exposed as a consequence of work, the social and economic consequences of the change and the likely impact on the environment.

The project started in April 2009 and completed early 2011.   It was a collaboration between the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Imperial College London, Entec UK Ltd, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the University of Utrecht  

The Principal Investigator was Professor John Cherrie from IOM.

Note: All information presented on this website is provided by the SHEcan project team and does not constitute official information from the European Commission.