News 2016 / September

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Hazardous chemicals found in many household products

Samples collected by the Swedish Chemical Agency (KEMI) revealed hazardous chemicals in 82 out 160 plastic products. Products with high levels include several child related articles as well as fitness products.

Out of all 160 tested products, 14 contained chemicals above restriction limits. An additional 24 products contained chemicals on the Candidate List, which means that the suppliers are obliged to inform the retailers about this fact, which had not been done. In many cases the chemical in question were DEHP, an endocrine disruptor.

In total there were 20 cases with violations so severe that companies will be tried for prosecution.

“I think this is very serious. We must work hard to make it possible to lead an everyday life free from exposure to hazardous chemicals”, says Sweden’s Environmental Minister Karolina Skog to Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet when commenting KEMI’s report.

Karolina Skog further details that ultimately this is a question of companies becoming more aware of legal requirements, and stresses that Sweden will continue using the EU route to achieve progress and change.

ChemSec policy advisor Frida Hök thinks that report is very important, although she is not too surprised with the outcome.

“This clearly shows the importance of implementing REACH at a faster rate. Another key aspect of REACH to really start exploring is its possibilities to control imported goods”, she says.