Heads in the sand over Europe’s most dangerous chemicals

    554 784 Almut Bonhage

    Many chemicals can cause irreversible damage to humans and animals. Emissions of such hazardous chemicals have to be phased out and their uses should be substituted with safer alternatives according to EU water and chemical legislation.

    Greenpeace investigated progress with phasing out emissions of the well-known environmental pollutant Nonylphenol in five EU member states, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. Nonylphenol, a very hazardous, hormone disrupting chemical which presents particular threats to human and animal fertility, has been identifiedby the EU in 2001 for a emission phase out.

    In 2003, marketing and use of Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol-ethoxylate as such or in preparations in the EU has largely been banned, but its presence in consumer article is still allowed.

    Despite well documented high levels of NP emissions into our aquatic ecosystemand publicly available monitoring data, which show concentrations close to maximum allowed levels, authorities ignore legal requirements to act.

    Written and edited by Stefan Scheuer, Advisor to Greenpeace


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