Environment groups sue European Chemicals Agency

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Environment groups sue European Chemicals Agency

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Environmental groups ClientEarth and ChemSec have sued Europe’s chemical watchdog for withholding information about the production of toxic chemicals.

The lawsuit alleges that the European Chemicals Agency – ECHA – breached transparency laws by refusing to disclose the names of facilities producing hundreds of dangerous chemicals that may harm human health.

The ECHA is Europe’s agency for evaluating and restricting more than 30,000 substances.

A dispute has also erupted over whether ECHA can publish names of manufacturers — which could endanger commercial confidentiality.

ChemSec lastweek highlighted 22 hormone-disrupting chemicals routinely found in plastics, packaging and cosmetics that it wants regulated by the European Union.

It’s asking for a total of 378 substances to be included in ECHA’s list of “substances of very high concern”.

The list currently only covers 47 substances.

Companies wanting to sell chemicals must register with the ECHA, stating the details of toxicity levels, which the agency then publishes on its website.