EU to drop ban of hazardous chemicals after industry pressure

11 July 2023

The European Commission is poised to break a promise to outlaw all but the most essential of Europe’s hazardous chemicals, leaked documents show.

On 11th July 2023, it was reported by Business Matters that it was understood that the EU’s executive is on the brink of a climbdown under heavy pressure from Europe’s chemical industry and rightwing political parties.

The industry-led backlash is causing internal disquiet over the threat to public health and policymaking. One EU official said: “We are being pushed to be less strict on industry all the time.”

A leaked legislative document seen by the Guardian proposes three options that would restrict 1%, 10% or 50% of products containing hazardous chemicals currently on the market. The EU typically selects the middle option.

The leaked 77-page impact study forms part of a revision of targets in the EU’s Reach regulation covering chemicals law, which is dated 13 January 2023 and due to be launched by the end of this year. The text could be altered but officials say the options under consideration have not substantially changed.

An EU official speaking on condition of anonymity said efforts to dilute the legal revision were helped by “a complete change in the wave of support for consumers and the environment” in Brussels, as MEPs in EU president Ursula von der Leyen’s European People’s party (EPP) became queasy about environmental reform.

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Written by: LW

Copyright: Business Matters