On December 16, 2020, environmental law organization ClientEarth reported that the European General Court has ruled in favor of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) 2018 categorization of the substance bisphenol A (BPA; CAS 80-05-07) as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to endocrine-disrupting effects on wildlife. The case was brought to court by the industry association PlasticsEurope. This is the third case PlasticsEurope has lost in the European courts over the regulatory status of BPA. The first was in July 2019 when the court upheld recognition of BPA as an SVHC due to being toxic for reproduction (FPF reported). The second was in September 2019 when the court dismissed the association’s case challenging recognition of BPA as an SVHC due to endocrine-disrupting properties in humans (FPF reported).
The court’s support for the recognition of BPA as an endocrine disruptor in fulfilling requirements for recognition as an SVHC is being seen as shaping an important pathway for other endocrine-disrupting substances to be classified as SVHCs. Apolline Roger, chemicals lawyer at ClientEarth, commented that “this is a crucial ruling. The recognition of BPA as a substance of very high concern for wildlife is not a box-ticking exercise, it paves the way for further restrictions.”
Alice Bernard (January 20, 2021). “NGO Platform: Bisphenol A court decision confirms Echa’s broad legal mandate.” Chemical Watch
Client Earth (December 16, 2020). “EU court overrules plastics lobby, confirms BPA dangerous for wildlife.”
Andrew Turley (December 17, 2020). “European court clears SVHC decision on BPA for third time.” Chemical Watch
General Court of the European Union (December 16, 2020). “Judgement of the General Court (Fifth Chamber): In Case T-207/18.”