A new study, entitled "Pollution Comes Home and Gets Personal: Women’s Experience of Household Chemical Exposure,", finds that many women do not connect typical household products with personal chemical exposure and related adverse health effects as allergies, asthma and even cancer.
In the study, published in the Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 25 women were interviewed about the products they use daily to investigate how people learn about threats to their health. Researchers conclude that despite frequent warnings about the dangers of certain chemicals, consumers still do not associate everyday substances with environmental hazards that can pose a danger to health.
European chemicals legislation called REACH aims to manage those chemicals then end up in our consumer products in order to improve health and environmental protection.
Under REACH, the use of chemicals that qualify as ‘Substances of Very High Concern’ (SVHC), are only allowed through a new permission procedure called Authorisation, and / or would eventually be banned. In order to be listed on the so-called “Candidate List” for authorization, chemicals can be nominated only by the action of an EU Member State government, or by the instruction of the European Commission to the new European Chemicals Agency.
Once a substance is on the candidate list, the legal consumer right-to-know clause starts, where any of the public can ask whether a candidate substance is in a product they are buying and must receive an answer within 45 working days (this applies to European consumers). Read the full article here: Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern brings duties for companies and kicks in “right to know”
The process of nominating chemicals to the Candidate List and evaluating them for Authorization or phase-out is intended to control the use of potentially hazardous chemicals in our everyday products.
The International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) recently released the SIN List 1.0 – a list of over 250 chemicals that, based on their chemical properties and potential health impacts, should be nominated to the Candidate List. The SIN List 1.0 is intended to demonstrate to policy makers the existing evidence in support of evaluating the continued use of a spectrum of chemicals. It also aims to guide industry as to the possible chemicals that may be taken off the market in the future as well as to inform the public about potentially dangerous chemicals that we are in routine contact with. The full story can be found here: Better Public Health: The REACH SIN List 1.0
Written on 13 February 2009.