UK environmental group says govt must heed public's chemical concerns

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chemicals, European union

79 per cent of people in Great Britain are concerned about the
build up of chemicals in the bodies of people and wildlife,
according to an opinion poll conducted by IPSOS on behalf of the
World Wildlife Fund.

The results of the poll commissioned by WWF​ were released two days before the close of the UK government's consultation on the proposed new European Union chemicals law (REACH).

More than 6,000 people were interviewed in the European Union's six most populated countries: Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Spain and Poland as part of a wider poll.

This showed that 83 per cent of Europeans were 'very concerned' or 'slightly concerned' about the build-up of chemicals in the bodies of people and wildlife.

"Public concern on chemical contamination is overwhelming and politicians can not ignore it in their response to REACH,"​ said WWF's chemicals and health campaign leader Justin Woolford.

"It's time to bring to a close the chapter on the contamination of our world with hazardous chemicals. The UK government must stand firm against fierce lobbying by the chemical industry to water down these regulations,"​ he added.

In response to the UK government's consultation on REACH WWF has stated its belief that the risks from chemicals are currently poorly managed and major doubts persist about the effectiveness of present policies in protecting the health of ecosystems and humans from unintended long-term effects of chemicals.

To fully protect ourselves from the effects of chemicals in the environment, said WWF, a precautionary approach needs to be adopted within REACH. In addition mandatory substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives must be enshrined in REACH.

The opinion poll also revealed that three quarters of people in Great Britain would be willing to pay €1 more per year for everyday household products if this is what it costs for the chemical industry to identify and phase out the most harmful chemicals.

Across the countries polled the percentage of people willing to pay €1 more per year for everyday household products stands at 68 per cent. €1 per EU resident per year over eleven years is the cost calculated by the European Commission of implementing REACH.

CosmeticsDesign.com​ recently reported​ that the European Commission is funding research into non-animal testing methods in the run up to implementation of the new regulations.

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Fragrance

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