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"Late Lessons from Early Warnings" - EEA report on health hazards, from tobacco to Bisphenol A

European Environment Agency publishes useful document for policy makers and industry on science, precaution and innovation

27.01.2013 |WECF

Last Wednesday, January 23, 2013, a 780 page report from the European Environment Agency was published: “Late lessons from early warnings” on science, precaution and innovation.

The 2013 "Late lessons from early warnings" report is the second of its type produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with a broad range of external authors and peer reviewers. The case studies across both volumes of 'Late lessons from early warnings' cover a diverse range of chemical and technological innovations, and highlight a number of systemic problems. The 'Late Lessons Project' illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be, using case studies and a synthesis of the lessons to be learned and applied to maximising innovations whilst minimising harms.

Case story's include:
  • Health hazards (for example: lead in fuel, vinyl chloride, PCE, tobacco, DDT, BPA, etc.),
  • Emerging lessons from ecosystems (i.e. biocides antifoulants, honeybees and climate change among others)
  • Emerging issues (i.e. GM crops, mobile phones and nanotechnology)
  • Implications for science and governance

The report and a 48 page summary can be found here:

The report also has a good deal of extra information on Bisphenol A, used in food packaging, medical devices and consumer products.  The report is not only very useful for the debate in policy making and industry as to when to regulate or take action, but also informative and makes a good read.

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