Big brands clean up

Feature story - October 4, 2005
More big brands have committed to remove toxic chemicals from their products in our campaign against toxic pollution. Electronics giant Motorola and health and body care companies L'Occitane, Melvitacosm and Alqvimia are the latest companies to drop the most toxic chemicals from their products.

Girl on trampoline in her garden overseen by a huge chemicals plant. Will European politicians implement strong chemical law to protect people's health or instead favour the profits of the chemical industry?

Motorola featured in our previous toxic tech test actionand received thousands of emails from concerned citizens requesting itremoves toxic chemicals from its products. Melvitacosm produces theMelvita's Iris Blue perfume that was shown to have high levels of atoxic chemical in our valentine day perfume tests.These companies join Samsung, Nokia, Adidas, Reebok, H&M, Chiccotoys and others in adopting a precautionary approach to end the use ofchemicals of concern in their products. Discover the companies takingpositive steps in our toxic free catwalk.

Update 22 May 2006: US mobile phone company Motorola has backtracked on a promise to removetoxic chemicals from its products. While competitors like Sony Ericssonand Nokia are living up to their commitments to remove toxic chemicals,Motorola is not answering the call to clean up.

Why are chemicals in products important?

Many chemicals found in everyday products are now common environmentalpollutants and are found in animals and humans. Almost everyone hasdozens of man-made chemicals in their body; the effects of thesechemical cocktails on our health are unknown.

While these voluntary company measures are good news, other companieswill never change unless the law forces them to. Only then will thesetoxic chemicals be fully phased out and substituted with saferalternatives.

What about those laws?

Current regulation of chemicals is weak and inadequate. Toxic chemicalsare found from the Arctic to the Alps. The European Union (EU) isdrafting new chemical law that would set a world standard, but to beeffective the new law must identify all hazardous chemicals and requiretheir substitution with safer alternatives.

Chemical contamination? No Thanks!

While better chemical regulation should be welcomed by all, it is underattack from predictable quarters. The chemical industry has beenscare-mongering with exaggerated claims of job losses and decliningprofits.It has also recruited dirty industry's best friend, the BushAdministration, to threaten the EU with a World Trade Organisationlawsuit if it dares to try and cut toxic pollution.

The best way to counter inaccurate industry lobbying is to have othercompanies demonstrate that they can do without toxic chemicals. It remains to beseen if European members of parliament will side with the people andprogressive companies by voting for strong chemical law. Or will theyprefer the lobbying and scare-mongering of dirty industry?

Take a stand for safer chemicals

We need your voice for safer chemicals to show politicians the need to put the public before dirty industry profits.

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