EU: Half of chemicals unsafe in current use
Officials are failing to prevent dozens of dangerous chemicals being used in consumer and other products, according to a review of action by European governments.
Around 22,000 chemicals are registered for use in Europe. National authorities began in-depth safety checks of hundreds of substances thought to have dangerous properties in March 2012. By December 2018, high quality checks were completed on 94 substances, of which nearly half (49 per cent or 46) were declared to be unsafe in their current commercial use. The 46 danger substances have been listed for the first time in a review of official records by the European Environmental Bureau.
Agents judged the 46 substances a danger due to their harmful properties and exposure threat to people or the environment. They concluded that protective action is needed in all cases, but no action has yet been taken to control 74% (34) of the 46. Lack of resources is a major cause of inaction, NGOs have been told. Industry is legally permitted to use millions of tonnes of the 46 substances annually. The resulting exposure is likely causing cancer, fertility problems or other health impacts, or creating serious environmental pollution, officials found.
Read more: European Environmental Bureau media release