The new European chemicals strategy for sustainability must improve protection of health and the environment.
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution requesting that the European Commission close loopholes in the EU chemicals legislation which will allow Reach to function more efficiently. The Commission has been asked to come up with a new chemicals strategy that effectively ensures health and the environment are well protected by minimising exposure to hazardous chemicals. The Parliament says that further regulatory measures are needed to protect vulnerable groups; such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly.
According to MEPs, the new chemicals strategy must fully reflect the precautionary principle and the polluter-pays principle, as well as ensuring a more transparent approvals process. It should also stimulate competition for developing safe and sustainable alternatives.
The resolution also called for ‘a comprehensive EU framework on endocrine disruptors (EDCs) to effectively minimise the extent to which humans and the environment are exposed to EDCs.’ Specific provisions on toys, food contact materials, and cosmetics should be inserted into legislation to treat EDCs in the same way as substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction.
MEPs said that the Commission should ‘heed the various calls of the European Parliament’ to improve the EU’s authorisation procedure for pesticides and accelerate the transition towards low-risk pesticides.
Focusing on sustainability, the MEPs also called on the Commission to develop EU criteria for Sustainable Chemicals, providing incentives for sustainable chemistry, materials and technologies, especially non-chemical alternative which are safe.