11 June 2003 11:02 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The chemicals industry is bracing itself for calls for much stiffer chemicals control in Europe above and beyond the new European Union (EU) chemicals policy and its controversial registration, evaluation and authorisation programme (Reach).
The European Commission (EC) will on Wednesday adopt a European strategy for environment and health that it has said "will focus on the growing concern over the adverse health effects caused by environmental pollution, particularly amongst children".
Initially the new strategy will focus on asthma, endocrine disruptors and dioxins.
Industry is concerned that the strategy will greatly extend the potential at least for banning certain chemicals. It expects the strategy to call for more extensive application of the scientifically questioned, precautionary principle, particularly when applied to complex chemical 'cocktails’ and exposure environments.
The Commission said the aim of the strategy is to fill in the knowledge gaps that exist between environment and health. It is also aimed at increasing investment in research in these areas alongside integrated environmental and health monitoring. The strategy will outline a policy framework that can respond to the results of the research, it has claimed.
Research suggests that around 25-30% of disease in the EU could be linked to the environment.
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