Politics & regulations

By changing the molecule of a banned chemical slightly, chemical producers create new toxic chemicals that are legal to use.

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Molecules can be modified in several ways, and the number of potential chemicals is infinite. Chemical producers have used this fact to their advantage. When a toxic chemical is banned from use, it has been common practice to make a slight modification of the molecule. This creates a new, very similar, but different chemical that is not banned. Since the changes have been so small, the toxicity of the new chemical is often the same as the one it was designed to replace. As regulation tries to keep up with the creation of new, toxic chemicals, this process is repeated. This is one reason why there are, for example, about 10,000 different PFAS chemicals.

Reference: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/harmful-chemicals-removed-from-products-often-replaced-with-something-as-bad-or-worse/

118835
125 000 GOAL

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Let’s not put the chemical crisis off to the next generation.

We call on policy makers in the EU to take action against toxic chemicals in our nature, air, water and bodies. We ask them to:

  • Fully implement the European Union’s promises on its Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to ensure a toxic-free Europe by 2030
  • A special focus must be to fix the outdated chemicals control law, REACH, to ensure the fast track banning of the most harmful chemicals in consumer products
  • Fully implement the European Union’s action plan to phase out PFAS, including support and facilitate the universal ban of PFAS as well as banning PFAS in sectoral legislations such as toys, cosmetics, packaging and food contact materials.
  • Aid communities affected by forever chemical pollution and ensure thorough monitoring, remediation, ground sanitation, health and other plans in response to their needs. Make polluting PFAS manufacturers and related companies accountable for these.

This petition is done together with several European environmental organisations.