The Alliance for Cancer Prevention has joined with 26 other UK public health and environmental NGOs in a letter to the UK Government outlining 12 Key Asks which are we believe fundamental to the UK’s new Chemicals Strategy.
The 12 Key Asks prioritise protecting human health and wildlife from hazardous chemicals which are ubiquitous in our environment. Many of these chemicals have been linked with serious health outcomes including cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, infertility and obesity. They are found in personal care or cleaning products we use or are exposed to on a daily basis in the home or workplace, and pollute our environment from production through to disposal.
The UK Government promised a green new future after the UK’s departure from the gold standard European chemicals regulation, REACH. But this is looking increasingly unlikely. The consultation on the UK’s Chemical’s Strategy is expected later this year.
The 12 Key Asks cover a range of issues that need addressing in the new strategy:
The Alliance is particularly concerned about exposure to hazardous chemicals linked to cancer given the rise in cancer rates from 1 in 3 to 1 in 2 adults and by 15% in children. And existing regulations on workplace exposure have done little to stem the rise of occupational cancer and disease.
Leading scientists working on chemical risk assessment and environmental health, also wrote to the Government to express serious concerns the lack of access to the EU’s chemicals database. The letter called on the government to restore access as a keystone in developing UK chemicals policy. All current and up to date information is required to make a judgement on the safety of a chemical so it can be used in a product and in the workplace.
We call on the UK Government to support the initiative making health and safety a fundamental human right. While also extending workplace legislation on carcinogens and mutagens to include reprotoxic substances protecting the most vulnerable, the embryo and the foetus, and so protecting all. The government is now in a position to lead the way in controlling hazardous chemicals and show they really do care about the health of the UK’s citizens, workers, wildlife and the environment.
Recommendations collectively supported by 3,450,000 members, farmers and workers from health and environment focused organisations, unions, farmers and academics has been submitted to DEFRA in response to their consultation on the sustainable use of pesticides National Action Plan (NAP):
The key recommendations for inclusion in the NAP are:
The Alliance ran a webinar in November for CasaCem, Sociedad Mexicana de Toxicologia, Colegio de Ginecología y Obstetricia and IPEN on the links between breast cancer and toxic chemicals. Casacem kindly shared a recording of the event – available in english and spanish.