In an article published on June 26, 2018, by news provider Euractiv, editor Frédéric Simon reported that EU environment ministers held a policy debate on drinking water contact materials at the meeting of the EU Environment Council on June 25, 2018 in Luxembourg. “An overwhelming majority of [M]ember [S]tates have voiced support for stricter EU rules on drinking water, saying the same level of safety should apply to products coming in contact with water as for those coming in contact with food,” Simon summarized.
The European Commission (EC) has proposed to harmonize standards for products coming in contact with drinking water (e.g., plumbing) through the EU Construction Product Regulation. However, the majority of environment ministers dismissed this proposal, deeming it “inappropriate to deal with what many regard as a health issue,” Simon noted. A harmonization approach should “cover all the materials coming in contact with water, from the point of extraction to the tap,” Brune Poirson, the French state secretary for the environment, demanded.
The EU Drinking Water Directive is currently under revision (FPF reported) and Article 10 of the directive defines new obligations on EU Member States “to assess the health risks of products and materials coming in contact with domestic water distribution systems,” Simon explained. “When materials are in contact with drinking water, impurities can leach into the water . . . [and] may cause a significant risk to human health or may deteriorate drinking water taste and odor,” according to a 2017 study of the EC’s Directorate-General for Environment.
Frédéric Simon (June 26, 2018). “EU countries call for strict health rules on ‘water contact materials.’” Euractiv
Clelia Oziel (July 4, 2018). “EU ministers: strict harmonized water contact materials measures needed.” Chemical Watch
DG ENVIRONMENT (April 24, 2017). “Materials coming into contact with drinking water – What to watch out for?: At home.” EU Publications