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The Nordic Council urges EU to strengthen chemicals legislation

In a statement released end of March, the Nordic Council calls upon a more efficient chemicals policy and for the EU to draw up criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). It also says the use of chemicals on the Candidate List of substances of very high concern must stop as soon as possible, and points out substitution as a recommended strategy to phase out hazardous chemicals.

“It is problematic that it takes far too long to draft EU legislation and that only one or two out of every thousand reports about potentially harmful chemicals are fully processed at EU level. […] Greater political efforts are needed in order to make progress”, the statement says.

The Nordic Council believes that the primary responsibility for putting forward proposals for action on hazardous chemicals lies with the Commission. The statement presents six action points, primarily related to EDCs, on which the Commission is urged to take action:

  1. Present proposals as soon as possible for over-arching criteria for EU legislation that will clarify the definition of a substance with endocrine-disrupting characteristics;
  2. Improve its standard information requirements in relevant EU legislation;
  3. Introduce screening of substances for suspected endocrine-disrupting characteristics based on accessible data;
  4. Introduce separate testing for suspected EDCs in order to evaluate their potential impact;
  5. Promote substitution; and
  6. Introduce rules aimed at minimising human exposure, especially of children, to identified EDCs.

Also, it urges the EU Parliament to follow up actively with the Commission on the strengthening of EU chemicals legislation.

The Nordic Council Statement