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C 172 E/222 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.7.


Is the Commission aware of this problem and does it consider that it would be appropriate to introduce a
European certificate of suitability for building materials so that consumers know to what extent the
products used are safe?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 2002)

The Commission is aware that indoor radon is a public health hazard and has issued in 1990 a
Recommendation (1) to protect against it. It is recommended that where a reference level of 400 becquerel
per m3 (Bq/m3) is exceeded, simple but effective remedial action should be considered. For constructions
after 1990 a design level of 200 Bq/m3 is recommended.

Radon may exhale from building materials, but in general ingress from the soil beneath the dwelling is far
more important. On the other hand, other primordial natural radionuclides in building materials are cause
of external irradiation by emitted gamma rays. The group of experts established under Article 31 of the
Euratom Treaty has provided guidance on this matter (2). An activity index is proposed and levels below
which materials would be exempted from any restrictions.

Above such levels building materials may need to be certified and information be provided so as to allow
compliance with building codes. Radioactivity is within the scope of the Construction Products
Directive (3). Within this framework specific requirements may be laid down, including the certification of
materials for levels of radioactivity.

(1) Commission Recommendation 90/143/Euratom of 21 February 1990 on the protection of the public against
indoor exposure to radon, OJ L 80, 27.3.1990.
(2) Radiation Protection 112, Radiological protection principles concerning the natural radioactivity of building
materials, 2000, ISBN 92-828-8376-0.
(3) Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative
provisions of the Member States relating to construction products, OJ L 40, 11.2.1989.

(2002/C 172 E/239) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0646/02

by Graham Watson (ELDR) to the Commission

(11 March 2002)

Subject: Effect of endometriosis on employment

Is the Commission able to produce statistics regarding the effect endometriosis has on employment?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(18 April 2002)

The Commission has no statistics on this subject.