EC Adopts Conclusions on Chemicals Addressing Several Key Topic Areas

In June 2019, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted a number of significant new conclusions. Highlighting several needs in relation to the EU’s overall chemical policy strategy, these focus on a wide range of chemical topic areas. Among these areas are pharmaceuticals, REACH, nanomaterials, and endocrine disruptors.

New Conclusions Adopted

Among its various adopted conclusions, the Council:

  • supports the development of an early warning system for the identification of new chemical risks, while enabling proper actions to be taken in response to them
  • notes the necessity for creating a method for coordinating the protection of vulnerable groups (e.g., children, pregnant and breastfeeding women)
  • notes the significance of research and innovation funding to further the understanding of hazardous chemicals and their health and environmental effects
  • supports research and development efforts geared toward substitution of substances of concern
  • supports increased transparency and consistency by encouraging the harmonization of data, test methods, and other information
  • strongly encourages the European Commission to immediately create a strategy that outlines goals for a sustainable chemical policy

In addition to the aforementioned conclusions, those recently adopted by the Council include ones that specifically address the following chemical topic areas:

  • Pharmaceuticals

    • The Council highlights the significance of taking actions to decrease the environmental risks posed by pharmaceuticals, and it notes the need for additional relevant research.

    • The Council strongly encourages the Commission to work with the ECHA and other relevant stakeholders to create a dossier compliance action plan by the end of 2019.
    • The Council asks the Commission to provide Member States with consistent updates on various relevant actions.
  • Nanomaterials

    • The Council highlights the importance of information gathering on nanomaterials and improving risk assessment for them.
    • The Council requests that the Commission reviews and finalizes the formal definition of nanomaterials to ensure they are addressed properly in legislation.
  • Endocrine Disruptors

    • The Council strongly encourages the Commission to minimize potential exposure to endocrine disruptors, thereby facilitating human health and environmental protection.
    • The Council urges the Commission to develop an effective plan for the identification and risk management of endocrine disruptors, and acknowledges cases requiring critical or special attention.

Accessing Vital Information

The Council of the European Union’s adoption of several new conclusions and its additional chemical policy strategy efforts are important for numerous companies and professionals that deal with hazardous chemicals, with implications both within and outside the EU. Equally important for professionals is having an in-depth understanding of a diverse range of harmful chemical substances.

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