Environmental health researchers released alarming evidence  today that toxic brominated flame retardants, hazardous chemicals from electronic waste that are known to disrupt thyroid function and cause neurological and attention deficits in children, are contaminating recycled plastics in consumer products across Europe.
The report release coincides with a crucial vote in the European Parliament to establish and re-evaluate recycling exemptions for POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) in waste and with the European Commission’s revision of POPs waste limits. Both decisions will determine whether toxic waste materials, such as e-waste containing brominated flame retardants, will be allowed in recycled plastics.
We all are consumers and we all have the right to know if toxic chemicals are hiding in products we purchase, including the beauty and personal care products we use every day. However a policy labeling loophole allows manufacturers to hide unlabeled, unregulated toxic fragrance ingredients in the products they sell.
The UN Special Rapporteur for toxics, Baskut Tuncak, authored an important new report concerning the human rights of workers exposed to toxic substances and will present it at the upcoming 39th session of the Human Rights Council. The report is relevant to formal and informal workers dealing with pesticides and industrial chemicals of all kinds.