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WECF Press Release: 9 Member States urge Council to target chemicals policy and non-toxic environment

Environment Council: Ministers of the environment of the 28 gathered yesterday in Brussels for a last meeting during the Italian presidency.

18.12.2014 | WECF Press Release

Utrecht, Brussels, Annemasse, December 18, 2014 - Ministers of the environment of the 28 gathered yesterday in Brussels for a last meeting during the Italian presidency. Besides key agenda topics like climate change, 10 countries supported an initiative to address chemicals policy, with the ultimate goal of reaching a non-toxic environment by 2018.

This initiative is very welcome and necessary at a time when priorities set by the Juncker Commission do not cover chemicals and reduction of exposure to chemicals of concern. WECF, as an NGO working towards a healthy environment for all and is involved with many others in the EDC-Free coalition, welcomes the meeting’s outcome as a good signal for 2015.

9 EU member states and Norway join forces to push for a non-toxic environment
With Croatia, Luxembourg and Norway supporting  the initiative of France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, it seems that more and more European countries care about the impacts of chemicals exposure on human health and ecosystems. Impacts of climate change and global burden of diseases associated with exposures to toxic compounds in the environment and consumer products are good reasons for them to care.

EDCs: define to adequately regulate
French Minister of Environment, Ségolene Royal, had announced during the Environmental Conference 2014 in Paris last November, its intention to intensify efforts to achieve a workable definition of endocrine disruptors at EU scale, making it possible to implement restrictions of EDCs in all relevant EU regulations. Several countries, like the Nordic Council, have added to the information available on the urgency address the global impacts of EDCs, whether health, environmental, social or economic.

Nanomaterials: register to reach transparency and knowledge
Last but not least, Member States recommend that the development of Union-wide database of nanomaterials be considered: such a database could be inspired from mandatory declaration a posteriori which exists in France, where nanomaterials’s use in many products have been a concern to citizens, stakeholders and NGOs for years.

Elisabeth Ruffinengo, health and environment advocacy officer at WECF:
“We were longing to see an increasing number of countries voicing their concerns on toxic chemicals’ impacts on health and the environment, and propose appropriate actions. It is very positive that the information note sent to the Council targets topics such as imported articles, textiles for children, EDCs and nanomaterials. As NGO, we see this as a clear signal of the Member States to engage immediately in concrete actions towards effective regulation and reduction of exposure to toxic chemicals. We hope that 2015 will be a starting point to do so".

  • Elisabeth Ruffinengo, Health and environment advocacy officer WECF France, + 33 (0)4 50 83 48 13/ + 33 (0)6 74 77 77 00
  • Anne Barre, President WECF France, + 33 (0)4 50 48 14
  • Chantal Van den Bossche, Press Officer, WECF the Netherlands, +0031628129992

This press release has been made possible with the support of the LIFE Program of DG Environment.

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