Access to justice: PAN uses Aarhus Regulation. Urges better chemical policies. Environmental alliance demands poison-free disposable diapers. Nanoplastics found at South and North Poles. Pesticide Action Network PAN Europe takes action against the illegal marketing of unevaluated pesticides. Against the re-authorization of the controversial Cypermethrin before. The environmental association thus uses the legal possibility that environmental associations and individuals can challenge EU decisions on environmental law if they are inadequate from their point of view. For both complaints PAN Europe has sent a letter to EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. Asked for an internal review of the decisions taken. European Commission has 12 weeks to come up with a response. If the answer is not satisfactory, PAN Europe will take the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
As for pesticide approvals, Salome Roynel, campaign manager at PAN Europe, criticized: "We observe that nothing is done at all stages of the process to meet the deadline, and that for toxic substances automatic 1-year extensions are granted again and again, often even several times. This is systematic procedure! Meanwhile, citizens and the environment remain unprotected." Cypermethrin, on the other hand, is an endocrine disruptor and is also highly toxic to bees and aquatic organisms; even the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has come to the conclusion that the substance should be banned. Cypermethrin's re-approval should have been discussed in 2016, but delays at the member state and EFSA levels have delayed the process by more than five years, PAN Europe said.
EU Commission to restrict highly hazardous substances in disposable baby diapers
In an open letter, an alliance of around 30 environmental and health organizations, including the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), has called on the responsible EU commissioners to push for an EU-wide ban on extremely hazardous substances in baby diapers. There is a proposal to this effect from French authorities (ANSES), which the EU Commission must support within the framework of REACH, the European chemicals policy. ANSES had demonstrated that diapers may contain toxic substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (dioxins or PCDDs), polychloro-dibenzofurans (furans or PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and formaldehyde. Without the proposed EU restriction, millions of newborns and toddlers wearing disposable diapers could potentially be exposed to harmful chemicals on a daily basis for several years. Chronic and long-term exposure to these substances could lead to skin sensitization, cancer, reproductive disorders, genotoxic and endocrine effects, which could sometimes show up later in life.
Plastic age: Nanoparticles now also in the Arctic and Antarctic
According to reports in the Guardian, pollution with nanoplastics can be detected at both poles of the globe. The medium refers to a new study published in the journal Environmental Research. 13 nanograms of nanoplastics per milliliter of melted ice were found in Greenland – and four times more in Antarctic ice, in ice cores several meters deep, covering 50 years of global plastic pollution. Micro- and nanoplastics are harmful to human health at the cellular level, it says, and are now being discovered in the remotest corners of the globe. The study shows that even the smallest particles, which are considered "new", already have a long history.