Governments demand concerted EU action on chemicals

Environment ministers have called for an early warning system for chemical risks, an action plan on endocrine disruptors, and again demanded the European Commission produce an overdue 'strategy for a non-toxic environment'.

These were among a raft of measures called for in a document titled 'Towards a Sustainable Chemicals Policy Strategy of the Union' at an EU Council summit in Luxembourg on Wednesday.

The push for a more coherent system of chemicals regulation received the broad backing of ministers in a public debate before the summit conclusions were adopted.

Germany – whose regulator last year uncovered systematic non-compliance – called for better implementation of the flagship REACH chemicals regulation. It would follow the Commission's work – outlined in a joint action plan this week – from a “critical point of view”, environment minister Svenja Schulze said.

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