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Europe introduces massive ban on toxic chemicals to eliminate health and environmental hazards by 2030

April 26, 2022

The European Commission has published its “roadmap” to ban thousands of the most dangerous chemicals for health and the environment from consumer products by 2030.

After many postponements, due in particular to fierce opposition from industry, the European Commission published the promise of a toxic-free revolution on Monday, April 25. It is a pillar of the European Green Pact’s “zero pollution” strategy and aims to deliver a healthier environment by 2030. 

According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, approximately 300 million tons of chemical substances are produced by industry in the European Union each year. The vast majority (74%) are classified by the European Environment Agency as hazardous to health or the environment. This corresponds to about 12,000 substances. Most of them are considered potential endocrine disruptors. And almost one in five substances is classified as potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction.

Phthalates, bisphenols, PVC, parabens, glycol ethers, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds … These so-called “everyday” pollutants are everywhere: Toys, baby bottles, pacifiers, food packaging, clothing, furniture, electronic devices, cosmetics, paints, detergents. In total, several thousand toxic products will be banned in the coming years.

These restrictions aim to reduce human and environmental exposure to some of the most dangerous chemicals by targeting a wide range of uses, whether industrial, commercial or consumer. The commitment was hailed as a “historic” turning point by non-governmental organizations and researchers who have been warning about the dangers of this pollution for more than a decade.

Source: Le Monde