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Chemicals policy update - May & June 2010

- REACH: There are quite a few developments concerning the chemicals on the ‘most harmful’ Candidate List of the new European chemicals legislation.

8 new chemicals adopted by the Member State Committee in May as ‘Substances of very high concern’ - ECHA soon to officially add them to the List.

8 existing Candidates, including the phthalate DIBP, proposed by ECHA for the Priority List – this would subject those chemicals to the authorisation process. These proposals will be put up to a public consultation starting in July.

Deadline for the next nominations for the Candidate List is August 2010.

- ROHS: On June 2nd, the Environment and Public Health Committee voted on the report revising the ROHS Directive (hazardous substances in electric/electronic goods). The final vote from the whole Parliament, will take place in early October.

- Bisphenol A: Scientific panel on food contact materials (CEF) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) due to issue a scientific report on BPA by early July. The report is in response to a request from the European Commission

International examples of concern over chemical’s endocrine disrupting effects - Danish government introduced a national ban on BPA in food contact materials destined for children aged 0-3, starting in July 2010; French government publishing a law banning BPA-containing baby bottles; and Swedish government signaled intention to take national measures if EFSA does not propose a stronger regulation.


Submitted comments to the European Commission on the study about the cocktail effect (toxicity of mixtures), and participated in their June workshop.

Submitted comments to the Chemicals Agency on the proposed REACH Candidate chemicals, and attended the 12th Member State Committee meeting.

Participated in a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament on ROHS], calling for a ban on all halogenated organic chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants, and polyvinylchloride (PVC).

HEAL and many members signed a joint letter calling on EFSA to include all relevant studies in its review of BPA, and concluded that a thorough analysis of the science indicates that action to reduce exposure is warranted. The letter was signed by 21 scientists and 41 NGOs.


Voice your concern about BPA: Cover the recent joint letter and upcoming opinion of EFSA in your news (website, newsletter, etc).

Join us in improving the REACH Consumer right to know about hazardous chemicals in products. Send a letter to a retailer or manufacturer about particular products – HEAL can provide a model letter - Please contact

Ask your government to nominate harmful chemicals. Ask your government to nominate harmful chemicals to the Candidate List via the ‘fast track’ system. Use our model letter to contact the relevant ministry – let us know your response.

For more details on any of the above, please contact

Written on 30 June 2010.



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