Environment ministers from Sweden, Denmark, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Austria have called on the incoming environment commissioner Karmenu Vella, pointing out five regulatory areas that they say need improvement.
Those areas include; reducing exposure to endocrine disrupters; checking nanomaterials are safe to use; replacing hazardous substances in products; and regulating the content of chemicals in imported products while ensuring the industry provides sufficient information about the chemicals they produce.
The letter follows a meeting in Stockholm on the 29th October where representatives discussed how the countries could jointly push for an effective and scientifically based EU legislation on endocrine disruptors.
At that meeting Sweden’s climate and environment minister Åsa Romson said in contrast to the intense work in the Nordic countries, the outgoing European Commission's work on endocrine disruptors completely stalled.
Seventh Environment Action Programme commitments
The letter states that in order to live up to the commitments of the EU's Seventh Environment Action Programme, the implementation of REACH becomes more efficient and better exposures to endocrine disruptors must reduce and nanomaterials adequately taken care of in all relevant legislation.
Norway’s climate and environment minister Tine Sundtoft said: “Through the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, we have the world's most stringent chemical regulations that protect both consumers and the environment, but much remains undone.”
According to Sundtoft, Norway has a strict and clear national goal of eliminating and reducing hazardous chemicals, but it needs measures at a European level to achieve these.
“The work of this letter and further action is yet another example of government seeking a like-minded EU to jointly promote important environmental issues,” she explains.