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CHEM Trust is happy to announce that we are now looking for applicants for our 12 month paid internship, paid at the London Living Wage (£9.40 per hour), 4 days per week.

We are a small, dynamic and influential charity, working mainly at EU and UK levels to protect humans and wildlife from harmful chemicals.

This role, on a 12 month fixed term contract, includes:

  • Ensuring that the organisation works effectively
  • Improving our communication with key audiences
  • Helping to develop our campaigning and advocacy work.

[read more]

Europe’s pesticide regulations aim to ensure a high level of protection of human, animal and environment health. An important part of the law is that certain harmful pesticides, including those that cause cancer or are endocrine disrupters (disrupt hormones, EDCs), cannot be approved unless there is ‘negligible exposure’ of people and the environment to them under realistic conditions of use. CHEM Trust is concerned that the EU is trying to weaken this requirement, which would mean that these hazardous chemicals can continue to be used. [read more]

Food packaging, factory equipment, food utensils – almost everything we eat has been in contact with one or more of these items. The EU’s laws should ensure that chemicals used in these materials are safe, but they do not go far enough and contain holes.

These holes – for example a lack of harmonised rules on paper and card, inks, coatings and adhesives – mean that public health is not properly protected, and also lead to disruption of the internal market.Food Contact briefing

Our briefing “Chemicals in food contact materials: A gap in the internal market, a failure in public protection“, first published on 26th January 2016, outlines the key problems, and proposes some solutions. [read more]

How safe is our seafood?

Our oceans and seas have been polluted over time with a number of contaminants, from litter and plastic waste to an array of man-made chemicals which have caused numerous problems for many wildlife species. So considering these pollutants, how safe is the fish, shellfish and other seafood we eat? [read more]

The European Commission recently published a ‘road map’ proposing options for increasing controls on the use of hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials.

CHEM Trust has been concerned about the health and environmental impacts of BPA for many years, and in our view, it should be phased out of all food contact applications.

However, as we point out in our response to this consultation, we are also concerned that the European Commission’s view of the feasibility of different options has been unduly influenced by a hitherto industry-only consultation process.

[read more]

A new report, published today by the European Environment Bureau (EEB), argues that unless the EU chemicals regulation REACH “is better enforced, it will never achieve its aim of removing harmful chemicals from the market“. EEB and CHEM Trust are particularly concerned about the way the ‘Authorisation’ system is working, which is supposed to result in the worst chemicals being replaced by safer alternatives. The report also reveals that the UK is not pulling its weight in identifying these chemicals. [read more]

The European Commission has today launched a new set of policies on the Circular Economy. Many environmental groups are rightly criticising a weakening in many areas, including recycling targets. However, the new Closing the loop‘ Action Plan does include a plan to analyse and propose options in order “to reduce the presence and improve the tracking of chemicals of concern in products”. CHEM Trust views this as a positive commitment, though we believe it needs to be rapidly transformed into concrete measures to ensure hazardous chemicals don’t get in the way of the circular economy. [read more]

Two important global chemical processes have had meetings recently. Experts working on the Persistent Organic Pollutants Convention recommended international controls on more chemicals, notably the flame retardant deca-DBDE, and the non-stick chemical, PFOA. [read more]

Our food comes into contact with a whole range of food contact materials made from industrial chemicals, from food packaging to pipes. The EU has laws that are supposed to regulate the safety of these chemicals, but they are full of gaps and largely ignore some key issues. A number of events in recent weeks have emphasised the scale of the problem, while the European Parliament has started to investigate the issue. [read more]

In March, the World Health Organisation classified the widely-used herbicide Glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. CHEM Trust has joined with over 45 organisations to send a letter to EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, urging him to take precautionary action on the use of glyphosate, given these ongoing discussions regarding its carcinogenic properties. [read more]