The Inquiry was instructed to analyse and submit proposals on the possible design of a tax on hazardous chemicals in clothing and footwear. The tax aims to cost-effectively reduce the incidence or risk of exposure to, and spread of, substances in clothing and footwear that are harmful to the environment and human health. The design of the tax should also consider the risk of hazardous chemicals being released into the environment, where they give rise to harmful effects. The Inquirys premise is that hazardous chemicals in clothing and footwear can cause three fundamental problems:
1. Certain hazardous chemicals can cause health problems through exposure to them for large parts of the day by people wearing clothing and footwear.
2. As clothing is washed, some substances that are harmful to the environment and human health are released into aquatic environments, where they can directly harm organisms or enter the food chain.
3. Other, more persistent substances are not always released in washing but cause environmental problems in both the production and waste stages, and impede achieving a high quality in recycled materials.
Sweden Report of the Inquiry on Harmful Chemicals in Clothing and Shoes, 9 April 2020 https://www.regeringen.se/49597f/contentassets/5184c042af094e7281343c2b8d31a68e/skatt-pa-modet–for-att-fa-bort-skadliga-kemikalier-sou-202020.pdf