EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

The European Commission published its Roadmap on the Chemicals Strategy on Sustainability on 9 May. The Roadmap was open for feedback until 20 June. The upcoming Strategy will aim to better protect citizens and the environment against hazardous chemicals and encourage the development of safe and sustainable alternatives. The EU’s regulatory framework will also reflect scientific evidence on the risk posed by endocrine disruptors and other hazardous chemicals (including in imports).
The Commission supports Europe’s chemical industry and promote the Union’s ‘strategic autonomy’ for chemicals considered essential to society and health.
The BTA has submitted a comment to the European Commission on this Roadmap, particularly expressing the concerns of blood bag manufacturers. Changes in Europe have resulted in a decrease in blood donations, making blood storage a critical parameter to optimise blood supply. Currently, no viable alternatives to DEHP would grant the same benefits in terms of storage, considering that it extends the shelf life of the stored red blood cells up to 49 days. It is therefore crucial that time is granted to further research alternative substances. Provided no alternative is identified, sunsetting the use of DEHP in blood bag sets will pose significant challenges to the availability of blood, and thus could hamper public health.
The Commission believes that the current COVID-19 crisis has increased the urgency to step up action in the chemicals area in order to ensure stronger health protection and support Europe’s socio-economic recovery. This may explain why the public consultation lasted six weeks instead of the usual four. According to the leaked document of the Commission’s 2020 work programme, the Chemicals Strategy could be presented together with the Fitness Check on endocrine disruptors, in Q3 2020.

The roadmap is available on the Commission’s website here. Stakeholder feedback on the roadmap is available here, and you can find the BTA’s feedback here.

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