This news update on chemical regulations in Europe is brought to you by ChemistryWorld.
Chemical regulations in Europe are inadequate and fail to protect consumers from the risks posed by a broad range of products, according to a position paper from a leading European consumer group. As a result the organisation is calling for protections to be strengthened.
The European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation (ANEC), claims that current EU chemical regulations under Reach (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) focuses mainly on the ‘manufacturing and use of chemical substances and mixtures in Europe and hardly covers chemicals in consumer articles, particularly in imported articles’. European policy makers need to develop a systematic approach to address chemicals in products relevant for consumers, ANEC says, listing eight ‘highest priority’ consumer product groups that need enhanced chemicals regulations.
The product groups listed include materials in contact with food and drinking water, clothing, toys and tattoo inks. ANEC also says the EU needs to develop stronger safeguards for the use of nanomaterials in consumer products, including a compulsory nano-register similar to those in France, Belgium and Denmark.
The report lists five options for strengthening the chemical regulatory framework for consumer products. The ‘most promising one in terms of technical feasibility’, ANEC says, would be to extend the scope of the EU’s so-called ErP directive, which covers energy-related products and is sometimes called the ecodesign directive. The ANEC report suggests the ErP directive could be extended to cover non-energy related products.
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