The chemicals restriction roadmap is EU's interim plan for regulatory action, compiling a list of the most hazardous chemicals prioritised for phase out until a more comprehensive, health-protective REACH reform is fully realised. But despite optimistic estimates the restriction roadmap has thus far been a painfully slow trek uphill.
Ahead of the recent meeting of the WHO European Environment and Health Task Force, a briefing was held by the permanent representation of Hungary to the EU, where HEAL Executive Director Génon Jensen discussed HEAL’s perspectives on priorities and expectations from civil society. She called for action ahead of the Seventh Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health and offered a menu of issues that require ambitious and urgent policy action on environment and health in Europe, and in which the EU is poised to take a leadership role for the European region, as part of the implementation of the EU Green Deal, with its objective of zero pollution and do no harm at its core.
The REACH legislation sets out how the European Union registers, evaluates, authorises and restricts chemicals. The sorely needed overhaul of this juggernaut of EU chemicals legislation is an opportunity to strengthen its effectiveness in protecting our health and the environment through better and earlier identification of hazardous chemicals.
PFHpA, a member of the hazardous PFAS family, is increasingly being found in our bodies and the environment. HEAL supports the Dutch proposal to identify PFHpA as a substance of very high concern under REACH, which would constitute the first step to put an end to our exposure to this toxic chemical. However, all PFAS need to be regulated as a group to truly get at the root of the problem to prevent further harm.