Circular Economy

Environmental health

The negative effects of human activity – including pollution, climate change, natural resource depletion and biodiversity loss – not only cause environmental degradation, but also have negative effects on human health. It is vital to safeguard the EU citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and well-being. Chemicals in products are on the EU policy agenda, particularly as the EU’s Circular Economy strategy seeks to ensure easier reintroduction of secondary raw materials into the economy without spreading problematic substances more widely amongst the public and the environment. ECOS has been calling for more stringent application of the existing chemicals legislation, and continuing to push for long-awaited nanomaterial-specific legislation. Our goal is to eliminate or minimise the use of problematic substances in (consumer) products with a view to protect human health and the environment. We wish to promote the development of ambitious requirements on problematic substances in product standards, and including to support the safe and sustainable use of nanomaterials.

What we are working on

  • Monitor relevant developments to prevent the introduction of external ignition requirements in European and international standards related to the safety of relevant products that would provide an incentive for the use of flame retardants.
  • Assist standardisers to address toxic chemicals in products and contribute to phasing out harmful chemical substances such as flame retardants and endocrine disruptors.
  • Ensure the development of clear, harmonised definitions for nanomaterials and nanotechnologies at global level.
  • Contribute to the H2020 projects RiskGONE and NANORIGO. The projects focus on risk governance of nanomaterials with an outlook to create a risk governance framework for nanomaterials and an independent Risk Governance Council.

Related news

  • Tackling microplastic pollution at its source: the example of pellets

    With up to 167 000 tonnes estimated to leak into the environment in Europe every year, plastic pellets are the second largest source of primary microplastic pollution (after tyre abrasion and before microfibers from textile).

  • ECOS Nano Update – Titanium dioxide saga continues

    Earlier this year, France decided to ban titanium dioxide (TiO2, known as food additive E171) from all food products set to come into force by 1 January 2020. The ban follows on from the ongoing politically difficult evaluation of Ti02 through chemicals regulation processes, where France has played a lead role in the evaluation of the substance.

  • ECOS reacts to the ECHA Proposal on Intentionally Added Microplastics in Products

    Because of the health and environmental risks, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued an EU-wide restriction proposal for microplastic particles that are intentionally added to products and are likely to end up in the environment.

Contact person

Doreen Fedrigo
Head of Circular Economy Policy+32 2 894 46 56
Michael Neaves
Programme Manager+32 2 893 08 59

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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