New EU Chemicals Strategy commits to ban the most harmful chemicals in consumer products
On 14th October, the European Commission published their new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which sets out the EU’s priorities for chemicals policy. The Strategy includes a commitment to ensure that consumer products do not contain the most harmful chemicals.
Some chemicals that CHEM Trust are particularly concerned about are still allowed in consumer products. For example, a family of chemicals called PFAS are often used in waterproof and stainproof clothing or in food packaging; but some of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to certain cancers and reproductive issues.
The new Strategy commits to removing chemicals that cause cancers, gene mutations, affect the reproductive or the endocrine (hormone) system, or are persistent and bioaccumulative from consumer products, such as toys, childcare articles, cosmetics, food contact materials, detergents, furniture and textiles.
The Strategy also commits to investigate controls on chemicals in consumer products that negatively affect the immune or neurological systems. As we pointed out in our ‘No Brainer’ report in 2017, there is extensive evidence that some chemicals can disrupt brain development.
We really welcome the new strategy, as we have been calling for stronger measures to protect human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals for many years. Now it is important to make sure these commitments are delivered.