Last reviewed 16 December 2019

A major consumer organisation, trade unions and green groups have joined forces to call for a non-toxic economy and a healthy future that protects workers and consumers.

Together, the three civil society groups, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Consumers Organisation (BEUC) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), urged the European Commission, in a joint letter sent to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, “to build a Europe that protects people and ecosystems against chemical pollution”.

The letter points out that, together, the three civil society groups represent the voice of consumers, workers and environmental interests.

The letter also notes that on 4 December 2019, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released the 2020 State of the Environment Report highlighting the environmental challenges that Europe faces.

In response, the three organisations have called on the European Commission to better protect EU citizens and the environment with an improved EU chemicals strategy for 2030, and have attached a series of joint recommendations to the letter “to set Europe on the road to a non-toxic economy and a healthy future”.

Commenting on the letter, Per Hilmersson, Deputy General Secretary of the ETUC, in charge of health and safety at work, said: “Chemicals can bring benefits to our society, but many also contribute to the rise in severe health problems including occupational cancers.

“To stop cancer at work the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive must be revised further and include more binding occupational exposure limit values for carcinogens.”