EU Environment Committee backs chemical phaseouts

Fred S. Singer reports:

The European Parliament's Environment Committee has approved a report calling for "all hazardous chemicals" to be phased out by 2020 and backed a proposal for tightened registration, evaluation and authorization systems for both existing and new chemicals.

The report is expected to face considerable opposition, as the Environment Committee rejected hundreds of amendments that would have moderated the proposal. According to BNA's Daily Environment Report, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) claims the policies, if approved, would seriously undermine the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry, as well as other European industries that depend on chemical products.

Chemicals subject to the proposed policies would include persistent and bioaccumulative substances, endocrine disrupters, and substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic to produce. The bans or other requirements would extend to imported chemicals, as well as those present in manufactured goods. Substances deemed to be "of very high concern" would be banned from consumer products by 2012, and other products would require labels to warn consumers of dangerous substances contained in them.

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