Research Work on Chemicals in Consumer Products

A new research work of the Consumer Council looks into the issue of chemicals in consumer products in a horizontal manner, identifies shortcomings of European product regulation with respect to chemicals and outlines several options for a way forward. The study critically reviews chemicals regulation (REACH) as well as a selection of product legislation on general product safety, personal protective equipment, toys, construction products, electrical and electronic equipment and energy related products. The study clearly demonstrates that the current European legal framework regarding chemicals in products is insufficient to ensure a high level of safety to consumers and the environment. The study thus concludes that the adoption of a new regulatory framework for chemicals in consumer products is necessary. An extension of the scope of the “Ecodesign requirements for Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive” (2009/125/EC) to cover all relevant consumer products (whether or not energy related) and address all environmental aspects including chemicals seems the most promising option.