The European Commission is looking into the REACH authorisation process. The application process for authorisation should become more streamlined. By this the Commission wants to ensure that the requirements on applicants are appropriate to the aims of authorisation.
Chemicals that are imported or created in Europe in bulk are registered under REACH. It was expected that with the establishment of REACH hazardous substances would be placed on the candidate list relatively fast, after which many would end up on the annex XIV authorisation list. Only the well-controlled substances with no alternative or the ones where the benefits exceeded the risks would be allowed. However, many substances that are on the candidate list will never move on the annex XIV, because they are for example hardly used within the EU.
The Commission will add substances to the annex when the streamlining of the application process has been completed. Several groups of substances, for example chemicals used in small volumes, should then be suitable to be placed on the list as with the streamlined application process less documentation should be required. Industry groups welcome the proposals of the Commission, but NGO’s worry the core goals of REACH might be compromised.
Read the full article here: https://www.endseurope.com/36746/reach-authorisation-process-under-scrutiny
Dangers of prenatal exposure to harmful chemicals outlined in Dutch Health Council report - WECF applauds findings but is left with important questions. According to WECF this report underscores the urgent need for immediate action to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from the detrimental effects of prenatal exposure to harmful chemicals, including Bisphenol A (BPA).
Perinatal dioxin exposure and Neurodevelopmental Delay in Western Europe
In the 1980s in Western Europe, human perinatal exposure to background levels of dioxins was quite high. Therefore Janna Koppe from the Ecobaby Foundation and other authors evaluated the neurodevelopment of their cohort during the prepubertal period and in adolescence. This is the first paper in Europe that addresses the effects of background levels of dioxins in the period between the period of 1980 – 1990 and neurodevelopment at the age of 7-12 years.
At prepubertal age (7–12 years) 41 children were tested. Both neuromotor functioning and psychological testing were performed. Neurophysiological tests were performed using magneto encephalography and electroencephalography. In adolescence (14–18 years) the behaviour of 33 children was studied again and the levels of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs) were measured in serum.
At prepubertal age no association was found between perinatal dioxin exposure and verbal, performal and total IQ or with the Touwen’s test for neuromotor development. There were behavioral problems associated with both prenatal and postnatal dioxin exposure. In adolescence there were problems associated with the current dioxin levels and dioxin-like-PCBs.
To conclude, with the normal psychological tests we didn’t find a problem, but with the neurophysiologic tests we found a delay of 10% in reaction time which is also related to IQ. There were negative behavioral effects both of the perinatal exposure and the current dioxin levels in adolescence: more social problems and aggressive behaviour reported by teachers and more anxious and depressed feelings reported by parents.
The article is available via Science of the Total Environment – subscription only