In a new study, it’s been found that some companies in Europe aren’t following EU legislation properly when it comes to safety checking the use of chemicals in production.
This includes companies that manufacture medicine, food, cosmetics, and plastic products intended for sale in European countries.
According to the environmental group BUND, who conducted the study, millions of tonnes of chemicals are being used in production, and this has been going on for years.
These chemicals are suspected or known to be harmful to consumers, as well as being potentially damaging to the environment.
- Methyl acetate – this chemical can be found in cosmetics and personal care products, and also in some adhesives, sealants, and cleaning and coating products. It can be toxic and may lead to symptoms like dizziness or skin irritation.
- Dibutyl phthalate – this is commonly used in toys, leather, electronic equipment, furniture, and other products. It’s believed it could be toxic, especially to children, and could cause reduced fertility. It’s also dangerous to aquatic wildlife.
- Trichloroethylene – this chemical is mostly used in industrial products. Some studies have shown that it could have long-lasting environmental effects. It could also cause health issues in humans, including dizziness, and some scientists believe it can increase the risk of developing cancer.
The researchers have, so far, accused over 650 companies of breaking EU law by using these chemicals in some of their products. Among them are big names, like Michelin, L’Oreal, and Bayer.
They were found in products for sale in most EU member states, with the most being found in Germany, followed by the UK, the Netherlands, and France.
Furthermore, the NGO has warned in a press release that this might be just the tip of the iceberg, and it might turn out to be a much larger problem than currently thought.
BUND’s chemicals policy officer Manuel Fernandez said: “Chemical companies have been disregarding the law for years and getting away with it, selling substances that might cause hormonal cancers, brain disorders and other severe health problems. ‘As consumers, we are kept in the dark, not knowing if everyday products are safe or not. What we do know is that EU and national authorities need to raise their game in a big way.”
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