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

  • Policy paper – Furniture without flame retardants: safe fire safety for everyone

    The Alliance for Flame Retardant Free Furniture ( - where ECOS is an active partner - is releasing a policy paper calling on EU-wide action against the use of flame retardants in furniture and bedding and for the EU institutions to tap into the potential of toxic-free safe fire safety in support of a circular economy.

  • ECOS & environmental groups welcome new Commission’s engagement on tackling the threat of chemical pollution

    Leading health and environmental NGOs co-signed a letter welcoming the engagement of President-Elect von der Leyen to address chemical pollution, especially implementation of the non-toxic environment strategy, as part of the European Green Deal. The letter outlines our views on the essential benchmarks by which the Green Deal will be measured.

  • New Commission, new circular economy strategy

    As the current European Commission mandate comes to its end, the next Commission’s faces, roles and priorities are slowly being put in place for a slightly delayed start on 1 December. In terms of circular economy, Ursula von der Leyen has herself declared that she wants to make Europe “a world leader in circular economy and clean technologies”.

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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