New research, published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, shows that some persistent perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) can be transferred from mother to infant via breast milk. These chemicals, which have been widely used, are linked to a number of health problems, including negative impacts on immune response to vaccines in children. The research suggests that breast milk is a major source of exposure to some PFCs during infancy, though the researchers emphasise the important benefits of breast milk for babies. [read more]
A Circular Economy is an important component of a future-focussed, sustainable, economy, and CHEM Trust therefore welcomes the European Commission’s current consultation on the Circular Economy.
We have submitted a briefing to the consultation making recommendations for policies that are needed in order to ensure that the circular economy doesn’t end up perpetuating the use of hazardous chemicals. The aim of Europe’s policies on the circular economy has to be the creation of a clean circular economy, as this is the only truly sustainable approach.
Our key recommendations: [read more]
Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been used in some of our favourite products including waterproof clothing and non stick pans, but their persistence means they’re found all over the globe, in wildlife and in our blood and other tissues. As the amount of research showing the harmful effects of these widely used chemicals grows, many of them are still in use – including in the packaging of microwaveable popcorn. [read more]
Professor Louis Guillette, one of the first scientists to study hormone disruption in wildlife, sadly died on 6th August 2015. His death is a great loss to many, including those of us working to get endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) phased out.
His work was pivotal in showing the effects that EDC chemicals could wreak in wildlife, particularly focussing on alligators.
CHEM Trust Policy Director Gwynne Lyons, said: [read more]
The European Commission is currently investigating the potential impacts of different ways of setting criteria to identify Endocrine (or Hormone) Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and has proposed four options. At a recent European Commission conference at the beginning of June the German Risk Assessment Institute (BfR) presented an additional option, which they called ‘option 4b’. CHEM Trust has now analysed this proposal, and finds that it is not a good method to set criteria, from both a scientific and policy point of view. [read more]
Fracking remains near the top of the UK political agenda, with events in the last few weeks adding to the concerns we expressed in our briefing and report, launched on the 21st June. The government has U-turned on the protection of wildlife sites, and more cuts are on the horizon for the regulators. Meanwhile fracking company Cuadrilla has appealed against the decision by Lancashire County Council to refuse it permission to start fracking at two sites.
Update, 28th August: the Government is also increasing the centralisation of planning decisions, has awarded new licences, and is starting a consultation on exploration in more environmentally sensitive areas. [read more]
A major US-based study has found that producing and using safer chemicals is good for business, and recommends that companies that are not already evaluating the potential of safer chemicals should do so. The study estimates that the market for safer chemicals has 24 times the growth potential of the worldwide conventional chemicals market , and that job creation in safer goods and services is well ahead of the conventional chemical industry. [read more]
A year ago we wrote about new research which found that hazardous chemicals are used in food packaging, and that chemicals in many food packaging materials are not properly regulated by the EU. We sent a letter to the then EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg, and the reply from his office said that the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) was going to start an analysis of this problem. An outline of the terms of reference (TOR) of this analysis was finally released at the end of June 2015, following months of pushing from CHEM Trust, and the study is due to be completed by the beginning of 2016.
Just over a week ago we published our new briefing and detailed report looking at chemical pollution from fracking. It’s been a busy 10 days since publication, with inaccurate criticism of our report from the UK fracking industry, two decisions on fracking applications in Lancashire, UK, and an EU Commission stakeholder meeting. [read more]
CHEM Trust yesterday launched a new report “Chemical Pollution from Fracking” and briefing “Fracking pollution: How toxic chemicals from fracking could affect wildlife and people in the UK and EU“. The report was the result of months of research and was written by a very experienced technical journalist .