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A Toxics-Free Future


Did they go mad in Brussels? Children will also be exposed to chemicals that cause ADHD


(note; this article is via Google translate from Czech to English, the link below is to the original article in Czech)

Members of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are preparing legislation to allow recycling of scrap plastic with highly toxic brominated flame retardants. The material will then be able to produce toys, kitchen utensils or office supplies. Children will be exposed to dangerous chemicals that cause ADHD or disrupt thyroid function. Last week, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the changes. Recycling is a good thing, so let's do it right, but no toxic substances.

Instead of the ban, there is another permit. Although European countries in the Stockholm Convention have committed themselves to curbing brominated PBDE retarders, European deputies have probably succumbed to the pressure of recycling companies and have come to grips with the use of toxic plastic. Under the new rules, recycled plastic products may contain up to 500 mg / kg of PBDE.

Toxic toxins

Arnika, with the international non-governmental HEAL and IPEN, found highly toxic brominated flame retardants in a quarter of recycled plastic from European scouring last year. The results of measuring specific products were published in the Toxic Trap: Dangerous Substances in Recycled Products on the European Market.

Further tests have also revealed extremely toxic dioxins that are produced inadvertently during the production of brominated retardants and further heat treatment of the material. Children can get literally industrial waste instead of a toy. The dioxin problem in the Arnika product was described in another study, Toxic: Dioxins in plastic toys.

Toxic substances are not to be played

"The limit of 500 mg / kg agreed at European level allows for the contamination of toys by toxic flame retardants It is absolutely unbelievable that MEPs and board members consider it acceptable for our children to play with persistent organic pollutants to be removed globally , "notes the study author Jitka Straková, Arnika's expert on toxic substances.

"The recycling of toxic chemicals into new products undermines the idea of ​​the circular economy," said Genon Jensen, study co-author and CEO of the European HEAL organization, "Bacterial flame retardants that harm the hormonal system and are responsible for attention disorders and neurological problems. Health and Environment Alliance.

There are also toys from Germany

"The new EU rules are contrary to the obligations of the Stockholm Convention, which prohibits the recycling of decaBDE-containing products, and the new regulation can easily trigger a conflict at the next session of the Stockholm Convention in May, as the EU gets into the position of a toxic recycling advocate," adds Joe DiGangi, scientific and technical consultant for IPEN.

"The toy from Germany, according to test results, contains dioxins in a similar concentration to ash from waste incinerators, precisely because of the content of brominated retardants that accompany dioxins. Brominated dioxins are highly hazardous chemicals that are known to adversely affect brain development, damaging the immune system and the development of children before birth, increase the risk of cancer and the risk of disruption of the thyroid gland.Waste containing persistent organic substances are highly dangerous and need to be severely restricted, but the EU does not do it consistently, "explains study author Jindřich Petrlík from Arnika, IPEN Working Group on Dioxins, PCBs and Wastes.

Author:Editor Č