EU takes action on dangerous chemicals

Plenary5Labour MEPs today supported EU action to ensure that chemicals found in everyday household products including food packaging, skin care products, cosmetics, building materials, certain electronic goods, furniture and floorings are safe in the future.

An overwhelming majority of MEPs, voting in a full session in Strasbourg, supported further research leading to regulation on so-called ‘endocrine disruptors’.

An endocrine disruptor is a substance which alters the function of the body’s hormone system and then causes adverse health effects.

“Children are regularly in contact with some of the products where these chemicals are found,” said Labour’s Glenis Willmott MEP speaking on behalf of Labour MEPs.

“Consumers should be able to expect the highest possible safety standards for everything we buy on the European Single Market.”

“There are alarming trends linking a number of diseases and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.”

“Current chemicals legislation is insufficient for establishing whether a substance has endocrine-disrupting properties. More research is still needed and tough EU action needs to be taken,” she said.

Today’s legislation would:

Ensure the criteria for endocrine disrupting properties are based on comprehensive hazard assessments using the latest science, taking into account potential combination and long-term effects;

Ensure the European Commission reviews all relevant legislation by June 2015 with a view to reducing human exposure, especially among vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children, to endocrine disrupting chemicals;

Set no ‘safe upper limit’ for endocrine disruptors unless manufacturers can provide scientific evidence that there is a threshold under which no adverse effects occur;

Ask the European Commission to develop research methods which minimise animal testing;

 

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