Hazardous chemicals: replacing it is not the solution

This Tuesday, CHEM Trust published a report on the practice of hazardous chemicals substitution, and particularly that of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) – such as bisphenol (BP).

The report stresses the outraging reality as corporations and industrials are permitted to switch out one EDC for another that possesses the same hazardous properties. EDCs can be found in daily products such as nursing bottles, cosmetics and tin cans, and their harmful effects include diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity in children, and an increased risk of women developing breast cancer.

In the possession of all of this information, the civil society isn’t sitting idle, urging legislators and regulators to take action against this common and allowed practice. However, despite the data collected from ongoing research, legislators continue to fail to put up regulations concerning these hazardous chemicals. So far, they are being dealt with individually as regulators are overlooking the removal of their entire group from the market. Experts weighed in:

According to Dr Paloma Alonso Magdalena, Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Miguel Hernández University de Elche (UMH) in Spain: “BPA, today, is known for its endocrine disrupting properties and the range of its effects is very large: from reproductive organs to metabolism. It is particularly disquieting to note that a number of other bisphenols seem to share the same proprieties. Replacing BPA by one of its own is an inconsiderate choice”. Furthermore, most corporations that commercialize BPS pretend that it is safe, even with the European Risk Assessment Committee assessing that BPS shouldn’t be used as a substituting solution.

For Dr Warhurst, CHEM Trust Executive Director: “The report shows that the people and the environment are not adequately protected against hazardous chemicals since industrials are permitted to replace a problematic substance by another. The European legislators must remove groups of dangerous chemicals from the market instead of restricting individual substances one by one. We cannot continue to gamble with people’s health”.

Véronique Moreira, WECF France President, adds: “WECF France is with CHEM Trust’s demands and conclusions: it is time to stop the regrettable substitutions that replace one toxic chemical for another. We need to act by groups of chemicals, and not compound by compound”.

Today, CHEM Trust addresses two European agencies concerned by this matter: the European Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), asking them to restrict their usage of EDCs in order to avoid regrettable substitutions. The only possible exception would be if industrials were able to supply reliable data stating that the substituting compound doesn’t share the same properties as the one that needed to be replaced. However, according to CHEM Trust, the EFSA has yet to reexamine the toxicity of BPS and of other bisphenols.