Eliminate toxic chemicals

Pregnant women protest outside the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel against man-made toxic chemicals that contaminate unborn babies

 

Dangerous chemicals threaten our water, air, land and ultimately the health of all living beings. Many are knowingly released into the environment, causing disease, mutation and stunted fertility. Even newborn babies enter the world contaminated with poisonous chemicals inherited from their mothers. The slow accumulation of such substances in the environment, food chain and our bodies is a serious problem. Greenpeace does not oppose the use of chemicals, but is against the release of dangerous ones, especially when there are safer alternatives.

Fortunately, the tide is turning towards the elimination of such substances. In 2007, the world’s most progressive chemical legislation entered into force for EU countries. The EU law, called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals), requires firms to be more transparent regarding the chemicals they manufacture and use.  It is based on a precautionary principle, shifting the burden of proof regarding for safety onto manufacturers and importers, and it provides for restrictions and phasing out of dangerous chemicals.

If properly implemented, REACH will result in the replacement of the most dangerous chemicals with safe/r alternatives. The proof of its effectiveness will be in how well and how quickly phase outs occur, pursuant to commitments to make chemical management safe by 2020. The impacts of REACH stand to be felt in the wider world too, with non-European manufacturers and governments aligning their policies to Europe’s. In the coming years, additional dangerous substances will be added to the REACH phase out process.

The latest updates

 

Commission must prepare glyphosate exit plan, Greenpeace

Press release | June 24, 2016 at 16:09

Brussels – Greenpeace has called on the European Commission to prepare a glyphosate exit plan, after an EU vote on the controversial weedkiller today cleared the way for the Commission to push through a temporary licence extension.

Greenpeace comment: EU vote on glyphosate extension

Press release | June 6, 2016 at 12:17

Brussels – The European Commission has failed to secure sufficient support from EU governments for its proposal to extend a licence for glyphosate by up to 18 months. The outcome shows that governments remain sceptical about the continued use of...

Greenpeace response to French president Hollande comments on TTIP

Press release | May 3, 2016 at 15:30

Brussels – In response to comments by French president François Hollande and European politicians following the release of confidential TTIP documents, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said:

TTIP leaks update: Greenpeace response to Commission statements

Press release | May 2, 2016 at 17:35

Brussels, 2 May 2016 – In response to the European Commission’s statements on the TTIP leaks and a blog post by EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said:

Leaked TTIP documents released

Press release | May 2, 2016 at 11:51

Greenpeace EU press briefing – 14:30 – Residence Palace, Brussels Brussels, 2 May 2016 – Today Greenpeace Netherlands released secret documents from the EU-US TTIP negotiations, which is publicly available at www.ttip-leaks.org from 11:00...

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