In an article published on April 3, 2017 by the news provider EUobserver, Johanna Sandahl and Therese Jacobson, president and manager, respectively, of the Department of Toxics at the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, highlight the importance of effectively regulating hazardous substances for the success of the circular economy. Without strong regulation of chemicals “we risk recycling hazardous substances when we reuse materials, such as certain plastics, which exposes consumers to potential health risks,” the authors state. For example, hazardous and banned flame retardants were found in children’s toys made from plastics derived from electronic waste, the authors report. A 2013 study also found high amounts of hazardous flame retardants in black plastic kitchen utensils (e.g. spoons, stirring utensils, cutting boards) made from recycled electronic waste (FPF reported). For the circular economy model to succeed, “there is a clear need for full transparency in regard to the content of substances in all products,” the authors stress. Ingredient lists of products “must be shared between all stakeholders in the supply chains,” Sandahl and Jacobson add. To achieve this, the authors suggest that the European Commission (EC) designs “the corresponding legal requirements for all products, and the centralized systems for data handling and sharing.”

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Johanna Sandahl and Therese Jacobson (April 3, 2017). “Don’t let circular economy become a health hazard.EUobserver