are being used in rainwear, dental floss, firefighting foam – and in my hairdresser’s shampoo. I broke her heart when I told her about it. She had no idea what PFAS were, but she obviously does not want them in the products she and other hairdressers use every day.
If we needed more reasons for faster, tougher and more far-reaching regulation on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, could this imminent threat against human reproduction be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back?
The European Court of Justice confirmed today that the EU illegally allowed dangerous substances for sale in paints when there were safer options – setting a precedent that tightens the screw on companies’ use of toxic chemicals in the EU.
The phase-out of substances of concern from new materials would entail billions of Euros in business opportunities. We need to recycle more, but have to consider chemical safety alongside increased recycling rates. And the presence of hazardous chemicals in recycled materials prevents the upscaling of circular economy.
“Our analysis shows that if problematic chemicals were more efficiently addressed, the market for recycled materials would increase. Even a small increase of 10% in the recycling of plastic packaging would correspond to an annual increase in EU market value of €2.6 billion”, says Anne-Sofie Bäckar, Executive Director at ChemSec.
Researchers at Karlstad, Örebro and Lund universities have previously shown that PFAS can affect both the pregnant woman and the fetus during early pregnancy, causing preeclampsia and poorer fetal growth. Now, involuntary termination of pregnancy can be added to the list.
In mid-January, we at ChemSec arranged our third workshop on recycled material and chemicals. This time, the topic was plastics in electronics.
Most companies in the chemical industry seem to have been flying under the radar of most investors and divestment campaigns, at least in regard to toxic chemicals. Let’s see for how much longer.
In November, ChemSec gathered representatives from 12 well-known brands and recyclers to talk about circular economy and plastic packaging, to explore new perspectives and ideas necessary to create a circular economy.
ChemSec aims to expand the business advisory team and we need you who can help us develop our work within Circular Economy to take a more active part in the pan-European discussion regarding the importance of phasing out hazardous chemicals!