Politics & regulations

Getting a permit to put a chemical on the market can take six months. It can take 20 years to ban it.


To ban a chemical from use in the EU is largely a political process, not a scientific one. For this to happen, representatives from all 27 member states must all agree, one chemical at a time. So, if one country opposes the ban, that creates a stalemate. This has happened many times, particularly when there are proposals to ban chemicals that are vital for industries in specific countries. That means that there are mostly “easy” chemicals that have been banned, those that everyone agrees upon. Many hugely problematic chemicals have been discussed for decades in various EU committees, all the while, it is perfectly legal to use them in consumer products. To put a completely new chemical on the market, however, takes about six months. Studies of long-term effects on humans and wildlife are not always necessary.

Reference: https://eeb.org/library/the-need-for-speed-executive-summary/

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  • A special focus must be to fix the outdated chemicals control law, REACH, to ensure the fast track banning of the most harmful chemicals in consumer products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.