Earlier in the year, scientists warned about the threat of chemical pollution, claiming that the current levels had already crossed a “planetary boundary”. This could pose a huge threat as it could lead to the breakdown of ecosystems.
A recent UN report also stated that chemical pollution could be causing more deaths than COVID-19 and called for immediate action to ban some of these toxic substances.
In response to this, the EU has published a plan to ban thousands of potentially harmful chemicals that are currently used in an array of products in Europe, including toys, cosmetics, baby products, and more.
Under the new regulations, any substances linked to cancer, infertility, reduced vaccine efficiency, and other health issues would be banned.
According to industry groups, there are up to 12,000 potentially toxic chemicals present in 74% of consumer and professional products that would be covered by the new restrictions.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says that it would be the “largest ever ban” on toxic chemicals and that it would “open a new chapter” in protecting citizens against the threat of harmful substances in products.
The EEB also claims that the plan, which is also known as the “great detox”, would improve the safety of almost all manufactured products by reducing the number of chemicals.
It would cover things like PVC plastic, flame retardants, and bisphenols, which are found in hard plastic items like plastic bottles. Additionally, it will cover “forever chemicals”, also known as PFAs, as these are well known for taking a long time to degrade in the environment.
It is estimated that approximately 200,000 chemicals are used in the European Union and that 75% of these are dangerous. If the legislation is approved, the list of restricted substances will be released by the European Chemicals Agency and this will be reviewed regularly.
EU Policies, 28-04-22