Parliament has discussed eliminating durable pollutants

SW – 04/2023

On 19 April, Members of Parliament (MEP)s discussed the new EU chemicals strategy with representatives from the European Commission (EC) and the Swedish Council presidency during the plenary session in Strasbourg. This was published by the EC in October 2020 and it was titled “Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic-Free Environment". It is part of the EU's committed objective to attain climate neutrality by 2050 under the European Green Deal.

When will the REACH be revised?

"For people's health, drinkable water and usable soil: we must eliminate durable pollutants and strengthen EU chemicals legislation now" was the agenda item in the plenary session. Revising the REACH regulation is an essential part of the chemicals strategy, but it was postponed last year (see News 11/22) and it is urgently awaited.

The European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Maired McGuiness, commented that the EC had already accepted the urgency of the revision as stated by the Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) as well as during the parliamentary debate. She stressed that the EC was working on the proposal with great urgency. The impact assessment has already been completed, the draft regulation is on its way and is scheduled for the fourth quarter. The revised regulation is urgently needed to create market incentives for safe and sustainable chemicals and it must be related to health and environmental benefits as well as benefits for the economy and the workforce.

Introduction of new hazard classes

The chemicals strategy also includes the delegated regulation about the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (CLP), which has been in force since 20 April. It introduced new hazard classes for so-called endocrine disruptors, i.e. substances that can affect or hamper normal hormone activity and chemicals that are not biodegradable and can possibly accumulate in living organisms. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the regulation will increase the protection of workers.

Recommendations from German Social Insurance

German Social Insurance European Representation prepared a comprehensive statement about the various aspects and regulations in the EU Chemicals Strategy back in October of last year.