UK ‘denuded’ of chemical assessment expertise, say professors

Some of the UK’s most senior experts in the environmental impacts of chemical pollution have said that the UK is on a poor footing to regulate chemicals post-Brexit.

Four ecotoxicologists opened the Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into toxic substances in everyday life yesterday: professors Michael Depledge, Andrew Johnson, Tamara Galloway and John Sumpter. All are members of DEFRA’s Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC).

“I think we would struggle tremendously” to set up a similar organisation to the European Chemicals Agency, said Depledge. There is a “very small” number of people trained in his discipline, partly the result of restricted funding.

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