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10.7.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 161 E/37

people who suffer from an allergy to the metal. This is due to the two-tone design of the coins, which
makes corrosion and nickel release more likely, particularly when exposed to sweat.

Have you investigated whether the EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins are capable of damaging health?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2002)

This conclusion drawn by the authors of the study in question is misleading, because the Parliament and
Council Directive 94/27/EC of 30 June 1994 amending for the 12th time 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 substances and preparations (1), refers to objects that come
into direct and prolonged contact with the human skin, such as jewellery or wrist watch cases. This
Directive does not cover coins. Secondly, the results were generated by sticking EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins to
the skin of patients with a known nickel allergy for 48-72 hours. After this period, they showed an allergic
reaction. As these conditions clearly do not reflect the normal use of the euro coins, the Commission does
not see the need for action with regard to the euro coins.

The recent publication does not change the Commission’s view that the normal use of euro coins does not
represent a risk for European citizens. The Commission is not aware of any particular cases of patients
suffering from nickel allergy which can be traced back to the handling or use of EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins.
Additionally, there is no scientific evidence of a recent increase in nickel allergies among European citizens.

These conclusions were confirmed by a recent independent study, which showed that the amount of nickel
released from the EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins is significantly lower than from the national coins used prior to
the introduction of the euro.

(1) OJ L 188, 22.7.1994.

(2003/C 161 E/040) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2775/02


by Juan Naranjo Escobar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(3 October 2002)

Subject: Allergic reactions to EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins

On 12 September this year the magazine ‘Nature’ published an article based on a study, carried out by the
dermatology department of Zurich University, confirming that EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins can cause a rash
when in contact with human sweat.

Since the euro first came into circulation there have been many reports in the media that the nickel used
to make the EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins can produce allergic reactions on contact with skin and sweat.

In view of these reports the Commission, in a press report published on 11 January last, expressed doubts
as to whether possible allergies were caused by the new coins, arguing that the nickel they contain was not
on the surface and therefore did not come into contact with the skin. At the same time it suggested that
allergies might be caused by the nickel in the coins of the national currencies which at the time were in
circulation together with the euro.

These arguments were subsequently reflected in the Commission’s answer to Parliament’s Written Question
E-0851/02 (1) of 28 May.

What view does the Commission take of the Zurich University study?
C 161 E/38 Official Journal of the European Union EN 10.7.2003

Does it consider, in view of the information available to date, that specific scientific research should be
carried out on the possible health consequences for those engaged in occupations entailing frequent
contact with these coins?

What measures is the Commission considering taking to reassure public opinion, in particular the sections
of the population most affected?

(1) OJ C 28 E, 6.2.2003, p. 54.

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2002)

This conclusion drawn by the authors of the study in question is misleading, as the results were generated
by sticking EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins to the skin of patients with a known nickel allergy for 48-72 hours.
After this period, they showed an allergic reaction. As these conditions clearly do not reflect the normal
use of the euro coins, the Commission does not see the need to revise its opinion concerning the use of
nickel in euro coins. The Commission still holds the view that the normal use of euro coins does not
represent a risk for European citizens.

The Commission will follow-up all new scientific findings and technological developments in this
particular area; however it does not intend to conduct additional scientific research.

The introduction of the euro coins reduced the share of coins in circulation containing nickel from 75 % to
14 %. The Commission is not aware of any particular cases of patients suffering from nickel allergy which
can be traced back to the handling or use of EUR 1 and EUR 2 coins. Additionally, there is no scientific
evidence of a recent increase in nickel allergies among European citizens.

These conclusions were confirmed by a recent independent study, which showed that the amount of nickel
released from the 1- and 2 euro coins is significantly lower than from the national coins used prior to the
introduction of the euro.

(2003/C 161 E/041) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2818/02


by Theresa Villiers (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(1 October 2002)

Subject: Market abuse directive and journalists

1. Could the Commission state whether it believes that journalists will be covered by Article 6(5) of the
market abuse directive (as set out in the latest common position from the Council  procedure 2001/
0118(COD))?

2. Can the Commission confirm whether this article is confined to the research, analysis and output of
financial institutions and will not be used to regulate financial or other journalists?

3. If the Commission is of the view that Article 6(5) (as contained in Council position 2001/
0118(COD)) does or should cover journalists:

(a) Can the Commission comment on whether the provision relating to journalists in Article 1(c) (as
contained in Council position  2001/0118(COD)) has any impact on Article 6(5) and if so can the
Commission state what that that impact will be?

(b) Does the Commission believe that it is appropriate for journalists to be covered by CESR
implementing measures under Article 6(10) (as contained on Council position  2001/0118(COD))?