14 October 2020
The EU has announced concrete steps to better protect consumers against harmful chemicals − to which they are exposed night and day from multiple sources. That is the gist of the long-awaited Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, published today by the EU Commission. The European Consumer Organisation BEUC, who has long been calling on the EU to tighten its grip on chemicals, judges the blueprint promising and urges the Commission to now follow through. The EU last updated its strategy for chemicals policy in 2001.
26 August 2020
07 July 2020
In 2019, more than 2,000 notifications of non-food products were made to the EU’s rapid alert system (Safety Gate) as failing safety requirements. Each notification may represent thousands of faulty products. Toys, motor vehicles and electrical appliances were the product groups with most notifications. The figure could well be an undercount, as many dangerous products are possibly not identified.
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Dangerous substances contained in everyday products such as soaps, toothpaste and shampoo may cause allergies, cancer, disrupt the hormonal system or damage the environment. Among these chemicals are nanomaterials which are increasingly used in consumer products, although the risks they may pose to human health and the environment have not been sufficiently assessed.
Unsafe ‘CE mark’ products continue to be found on the European market. The high number of product safety warnings and product recalls show the need to revise general and sector-specific product safety legislation in order to adequately cover all risks which may be posed by products. Market surveillance and control activities are insufficient to ensure the highest level of safety possible and the level of enforcement is not yet the same across the EU.
- Improve the general safety of products sold on the EU market and establish a European accident and injury database
- Minimise exposure for consumers and the environment to dangerous chemicals
- Adequately and urgently address the potential risks posed by harmful chemicals including nanotechnologies and hormone disrupting chemicals