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Not knowing which hazardous chemicals are in our products is crazy – the new waste database is not

I’d like to argue that a database that can help us understand some of the toxic chemicals we surround ourselves with is pretty solid idea. And imagine the possibilities: What if it wasn’t limited to Candidate List substances, but could also include SIN List chemicals, or better yet, full material declarations? This would seriously incentivize the use of recycled materials as well as increase the value of the industry.

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Don’t be fooled by the nice smell

US organisation Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) released a report that examines fragrance chemicals in beauty, personal care and cleaning products sold in the United States. BCPP tested 140 products using semi- and non-targeted chemical analysis methods, and the results were quite concerning. More than one in four of the total 338 fragrance chemicals detected in the products were linked to serious chronic health effects, such as cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive harm.

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How a hazard-based approach and grouping of chemicals can pave the way for circular economy

Prioritization is a well-used term in chemicals management. It builds on the idea that instead of trying to deal with all hazardous chemicals in products and supply chains at the same time, you should focus on the worst offenders first. The problem is that many professionals connected to chemical regulation focus too much on prioritization. They spend their time forever prioritising instead of keeping their eyes on the ultimate goal, which is of coursing dealing with the hazardous chemicals.