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Medical societies urge swift revision of EU chemical laws

Some hormone-disrupting chemicals are causing “widespread” health effects, groups claim

More than 40 European medical associations have launched a petition calling for the swift revision of the EU’s chemicals regulation, called Reach, saying that current laws are inadequate to protect people’s health.

The regulation, which applies to almost all chemicals and came into effect in 2007, sets out procedures for registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions of their sale in the EU.

In the petition launched this month, groups including the European Society of Endocrinology claim there are “widespread” health effects from exposure to some hormone-disrupting chemicals.

These exposures “cause suffering throughout the EU”, they say, adding that there are “flaws” in the current regulation that “must be addressed without further delay”.

Signatories are calling for a “long overdue” proposal to update the Reach regulation to be announced no later than June.

A European Commission official told Research Professional News: “The Commission is preparing a proposal for a targeted revision of Reach at the latest by Q4 of 2023.”

Update 16/3 – This article was updated with the comment from the Commission official.