Risk assessment under fire at chemicals strategy workshop

Official chemicals control policy came in for strong criticism at a workshop hosted by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in November as part of its preparations for a new chemicals strategy. Environmentalists argued that the risk assessment process at the heart of current policy is simplistic and called for a more precautionary approach, including an extension of licensing to all chemicals and the withdrawal of persistent and bioaccumulative substances. The signs are that they are pushing at an open door - but the workshop gave the DETR few ideas of what a sustainable chemicals policy might look like.

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