ChemSec, ClientEarth sue ECHA withholding information

ChemSec, ClientEarth sue ECHA for withholding information

4:26 PM, 8th June 2011
ChemSec, ClientEarth sue ECHA for withholding information

The two groups have sued ECHA for holding back names of toxic chemical producers. The groups informed that such a move is against REACH policies.

 

GOTEBORG, SWEDEN: ChemSec and environmental law organization, ClientEarth are suing, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), over its refusal to release the names of companies producing some of the most dangerous chemicals in the EU market. The lawsuit alleges several violations of European laws designed to promote transparency, democracy and legitimacy in EU policy-making. ECHA has refused to disclose both the names of the facilities producing these dangerous chemicals and the amounts in which they are placed in the EU market.

 

The chemicals are 356 of those on the SIN (Substitute it Now!) list, developed by ChemSec in collaboration with other NGOs. The list comprises chemicals identified as Substances of Very High Concern under the EU chemicals regulation REACH. These are chemicals that can cause cancer, damage our reproductive system or alter our DNA as well as toxic substances that accumulate in nature with serious and long-term irreversible effects. ClientEarth and ChemSec state that the refusal conflicts REACH.

 

“ChemSec and ClientEarth are fighting to establish a principle: that people have the right to know about dangerous chemicals. These chemicals are present in many consumer products and often in high concentrations. Knowing who is producing dangerous substances and the level of exposure, is vital to safeguard the public. Commercial interests should not be given precedence over people’s health,” said Jerker Ligthart, SIN List project Co-ordinator, ChemSec.

 

ECHA has a track record of being slow to disclose information about chemicals. Pressure from the chemicals industry has so far been successful in making delays characteristic of the Agency’s approach, informed the group.

© WOC News

 

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