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?
It is clear that some very powerful forces within the European Commission are working to undermine effective regulation of hormone (endocrine) disrupting chemicals (EDCs). On 20th December 2016, buried in the pre-Christmas wind-down, the Commission released its review of how EDCs should be treated by the authorisation process in the EU's main REACH chemicals legislation. The … [Read more...] about Why has the European Commission’s review of REACH rules for controlling hormone disrupting chemicals been watered down?
The EU’s REACH chemicals law aims to ensure that chemicals are safely manufactured and used, so as to protect human health and the environment, at the same time as enhancing innovation and the competitiveness of EU industry. REACH includes requirements on companies to provide – and use – safety information on chemicals, and provides mechanisms to ban or control the use of … [Read more...] about Fit for what? CHEM Trust’s views on the current evaluation of the EU’s main chemicals law REACH
A new report, published today by the European Environment Bureau (EEB), argues that unless the EU chemicals regulation REACH "is better enforced, it will never achieve its aim of removing harmful chemicals from the market". EEB and CHEM Trust are particularly concerned about the way the 'Authorisation' system is working, which is supposed to result in the worst chemicals being … [Read more...] about New report shows UK not pulling its weight in identifying worst chemicals
One of the main objectives of the EU’s REACH chemical regulation system is to provide a high level of protection for people and the environment. A key part of this system is the authorisation process, which incentivises companies that are using the most problematic chemicals to move to safer alternatives. The European Commission have just been consulting on two ways in which … [Read more...] about Simplification proposals for EU chemicals law REACH could increase chemical risks (updated with letter to Commissioner)
On 24th March I took part in an event in Brussels, organised by EurActiv, discussing the relationship between the REACH chemicals regulations and the Circular Economy, in particular the interaction between REACH & recycling. The other panelists included representatives of the European Commission (both DG Environment and DG Growth), the plastic pipe industry and an MEP, Paul … [Read more...] about REACH helps the circular economy clean up, facilitating sustainable recycling
New research, published today, finds that there is a link between the exposure of pregnant women to the phthalate DEHP and the development of their baby boys. … [Read more...] about New research shows link between DEHP phthalate exposure and development of baby boys
Last week the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) held a conference on "Lessons learnt on Applications for Authorisation". I couldn't attend myself, but I did watch much of it on line - I've also spoken to people who were there. It ended up being a very positive event, which is good news as Authorisation is an important tool in creating a more sustainable society. … [Read more...] about Authorisation is working, conference decides
2023 On 22nd June 2023, Dr Michael Warhurst gave an on-line lecture on "The policy response to uncertain risks: why we should substitute the most hazardous chemicals" to the Masters in Chemical Risk Management course at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. On 4th May 2023, Dr Michael Warhurst gave a presentation on "The policy response to uncertain risks: why we should … [Read more...] about Talks and comment pieces
The EU's REACH system for regulating chemicals was supposed to bring with it a significant improvement in protection of people and the environment from toxic chemicals. But is it delivering? The latest developments in the debate over alternatives to the phthalate DEHP, used in PVC products, suggest that there are some serious problems. … [Read more...] about Replacing chemicals with safer alternatives – or protecting dirty industry? (updated)