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Vision & Strategy

People in the European region continue to be exposed to untested and largely unregulated hazardous chemicals in their everyday lives, ranging from household products to personal care products, furnishings and toys. Just 10% of the 100,000 chemical substances used on the European market have been tested for health effects. The main challenges include inadequate and insufficiently implemented legislation at all levels, which fails to take account of the specific vulnerability of the developing child and of women. Environmental health is not mainstreamed into health, social, and consumer legislation. Aggressive industry lobbying against tougher legislation hampers progress. A lack of awareness amongst consumers means they have a misplaced trust in product safety and do not ask awkward questions.

WECF and its members advocate for non-chemical alternatives worldwide, based on three principles: polluter pays, reversal of the burden of proof and the precautionary principle, and highlights the gaps and inadequacies in current legislation.

WECF raises awareness amongst consumers and encourages them to ask questions about the products they allow into their homes.

WECF works with partners to highlight the dangers of asbestos and to work towards a worldwide ban on asbestos and the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in the Annex III list of prior informed consent of the Rotterdam Convention.

WECF focusses on the indoor environment of babies and children and engage parents, caregivers, medical personnel and decision makers in raising awareness of threats and creating safe environments, especially with reference to hazardous chemicals.

WECF advocates for the regulation and labelling of consumer products which contain nanomaterials, and the application of the precautionary principle, as well as awareness raising and the right of consumers to know which ingredients are contained in everyday products.