EU unveils plan for ‘largest ever ban’ on dangerous chemicals

Up to 12,000 substances could fall within the scope of the new ‘restrictions roadmap’

By Arthur Neslen in Brussels Mon 25 Apr 2022 07.08 EDT

Thousands of potentially harmful chemicals could soon be prohibited in new restrictions, which campaigners have hailed as the strongest yet.

Earlier this year, Europe under scientists said chemical pollution had crossed a “planetary boundary” beyond which lies the breakdown of global ecosystems. The synthetic blight is thought to be pushing whale species to the brink of extinction and has been blamed for declining human fertility rates, and 2 million deaths a year.

The EU’s “restrictions roadmap” published on Monday was conceived as a first step to transforming this picture by using existing laws to outlaw toxic substances linked to 1/5, 8:59 AM EU unveils plan for ‘largest ever ban’ on dangerous chemicals | Environment | The Guardian cancers, hormonal disruption, reprotoxic disorders, obesity, diabetes and other illnesses.

Industry groups say that up to 12,000 substances could ultimately fall within the scope of the new proposal, which would constitute the world’s “largest ever ban of toxic chemicals”, according to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). Tatiana Santos, the bureau’s chemicals policy manager, said: “EU chemical controls are usually achingly slow but the EU is planning the boldest detox we have ever seen. Petrochemical industry lobbyists are shocked at what is now on the table. It promises to improve the safety of almost all manufactured products and rapidly lower the chemical intensity of our schools, homes and workplaces.”

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