Despite investing over €110 million in research projects in the last decade, increased evidence for concerns from the scientific community and civil society, the EU still has not properly implemented sufficient measures for reduction of exposure. Therefore the European Parliament [i] and several EU countries [ii] have repeatedly called on the European Commission to move ahead with developing proposals.
There is a sketchy pattern of a few measures for a few individual substances. Examples include:
- In 2003, restrictions on nonylphenol and nonylphenolethoxylates for certain uses within the EU were adopted after concerns since the mid-1990s. However, there are additional exposures from other emissions, e.g. from imported textiles [iii]. In 2014, committees in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are discussing restrictions for nonylphenols and nonylphenolethoxylates in imported articles [iv].
- In 2005, 6 phthalates were banned in toys. Four of those have been included in the REACH authorisation list and need a special authorisation for continued use in other products and processes in Europe. However, there are concerns whether the authorisation process will indeed deliver its aim to progressively replace substances of very high concern, as a recent NGO letter to the Commission on DEHP highlights [v].
- In 2011, the EU banned BPA in baby bottles, but BPA remains allowed in all other uses, such as food contact materials. France has recently proposed a restriction of BPA in thermal paper for cash receipts, which is currently discussed by the Risk Assessment Committee of the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) [vi]. In 2015 a French ban on BPA in all food contact materials will enter into force [vii].
This page is part of CHEM Trust’s Hormone Disrupting Chemicals FAQ – Full list of questions here.
The next question is “Why are extra measures needed, when current tests and regulations will address any real toxic effects due to EDCs?“.