We are facing a chemical pollution crisis: a cocktail of synthetic chemicals in hundreds of everyday products is putting human health and wildlife at risk. While the EU’s chemical legislation REACH is world-leading, it has been too slow in identifying and regulating the most hazardous chemicals. There are also gaps in the way that the EU regulates chemicals in some product … [Read more...] about The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability – one year on
Some people may think that chemicals have to be shown to be safe before they are used the products in our homes. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case and in this blog we will examine a chemical that is routinely used in sofas and which has been described as 'inert' by one company. Meanwhile, scientists have found that it contaminates polar bears in the Arctic, dust in our … [Read more...] about The polluting chemical in our sofas – and polar bears – that shows that REACH controls are failing
Yesterday, the Financial Times reported on a joint letter from chemical and other industry associations to the Government, asking for a radical deregulation of the UK’s post-Brexit chemicals regime. Unfortunately the industry has not yet published the letter, despite this media coverage, making public scrutiny difficult, however a summary of its proposals has been tweeted out … [Read more...] about UK industry pushing post-Brexit deregulation of chemical laws, but the Swiss model is better for everyone
Following the finalisation of a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, CHEM Trust's initial assessment is that this agreement does not adequately protect human health and the environment in the UK from hazardous chemicals. This is because it doesn't retain UK access to the EU's chemicals regulation system REACH. The agreement … [Read more...] about The Brexit trade deal: what it means for the UK’s protection from hazardous chemicals
Today CHEM Trust publishes a detailed report on 'Chemical Recycling', a set of technologies that are often claimed to be on the cusp of revolutionising the recycling of plastics. This study finds that these technologies in reality have major problems, including substantial energy use, a need for pre-sorted, good quality plastic input and concerns over hazardous … [Read more...] about Chemical recycling: Is it worth the energy?
On 14th October the European Commission published a new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) as part of the delivery of the EU’s zero pollution ambition in the European Green Deal. The strategy announces a range of actions that will better protect health and the environment from harmful chemicals, including plans to ban some of the most harmful chemicals in consumer … [Read more...] about New EU chemicals strategy promises a more protective approach to regulating chemicals in food contact materials
In our initial comments on the new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, our Executive Director Michael Warhurst said today: "CHEM Trust welcomes the European Commission’s new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, published today, however it is important that the new commitments in the strategy are rapidly transformed into action in the real world. This strategy has the … [Read more...] about CHEM Trust welcomes the European Commission’s new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
EU regulation of chemicals in food contact (FCM) applications, such as packaging, pipes or cooking equipment, is a strange world about which many readers focusing on REACH, RoHS or BPR may have little knowledge. I first noticed these laws after starting as Executive Director of CHEM Trust in 2014 and was amazed to discover the EU had built a system to create a positive list … [Read more...] about Is the EU finally set to update its outdated laws on chemicals in food contact materials?
The European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen today launched a "European Green Deal", which includes a plan to produce a new "Chemicals strategy for sustainability" by June 2020. The Green Deal states that this strategy will include action on a number of CHEM Trust's priorities, including Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, combination (mixture) effects and very persistent … [Read more...] about European Commission launches “European Green Deal”, stepping up action on chemicals
If a chemical threatens health or the environment, shouldn't it just be replaced by safer alternatives? Or should regulators try to calculate a 'cost' for this harm to health or the environment (e.g. the cost of someone getting breast cancer), and then compare this with any costs involved in replacing the chemical? You may think it strange, but this is what often really happens … [Read more...] about Regulating chemicals: is putting a price on health impacts unrealistic and misleading?