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When is it justified to use very hazardous chemicals?

In which products and processes can we accept the use of toxic substances? This is a burning hot question in the chemicals policy debate. The Chemical Strategy acknowledges the urgency to speed up the phaseout of hazardous chemicals, and one important step in that direction is to allow the most harmful chemicals only for “essential use”.

What goes around

Increased use of virgin materials and low recycling levels show that a circular economy is far from being realised. The presence of chemicals of concern in materials is an im­portant reason for this. Mechanical recycling will remain the main recycling technology for the foreseeable future, which makes establish­ ing non­toxic waste streams the key to scaling up the circular economy.

5 aspects that the Chemical Strategy must include

Numerous reports have highlighted the importance of tackling the problem of hazardous chemicals and stressed the fact that it is an urgent matter. As part of the European Green Deal, the EU Commission will present a Chemical Strategy for Sustainability. Here are five important aspects that need to be included in the strategy.

All publications

From science to policy – precaution in decision-making (2006)

How can science and policy making support each other for the best possible results? Sometimes it is not possible withing the policy making procedurs to wait for definitive proof, this can mean exposing people to an avoidable hazard, with potentiallydevastating effects. When science is being used to help make policy decisions, precision is not the only goal. This booklet focues on the principle of precaution within the legislative processes – it’s all about making intelligent decisions under uncertainty.

Toxic chemicals – what is the problem? (2006)

The knowledge about the tens of thousands of industrial chemicals in commerce is still very limited. In most cases we lack even basic information about the hazards and risks, and no comprehensive system is in place to ensure protection from harm. This booklet highlights and describes the problem with toxics, from how to understand the risks to how to find the solutions, A key in a new strategy is the precautionary principle, which urges us to take early actions to prevent harmful effects even when relations between cause and effect are not fully scientifically proven.

Surviving REACH – a guide for companies that use chemicals (2005)

Will the EU chemicals policy REACH help or hurt your company? Now is the time to get informed and get involved. This guide will give you the information you need to start making your voice heard in the debate – and show why your input is needed. In this report, you will find out about the specific ways you can gain from REACH, the concerns that some companies have expressed about the regulation, and the ways you can get involved in this important policy discussion.

What we need from REACH – views on the proposal for a new chemical legislation withing EU (2005)

Companies and businesses that could ultimately suffer the financial consequences of inadequate information about chemicals received little attention in the debate over the EU new chemicals legislation, REACH. Companies that are dependent on chemicals for their articles are convinced that they cannot afford not to have such information. In this publication ChemSec have given several companies and stakeholder organizations the opportunity to describe their motives for demanding stronger chemicals legislation.